In spite of what is thought the Chief Executive Officer (CFO), in 21st century organizations, is a key driver in digital transformation for any company. According to a recent analysis, published by `Chartered Global Management Account´ (sponsored by Oracle), the central role of a CFO in decision making activities makes them in an approved voice able to carry out effective digital transformation.
From a financial approach, an organization that adopts new technologies is moving towards higher levels of efficiency and productivity and in doing so justifying the transition from the traditional world to digital one, tapping into the great opportunity that new technologies offers. Like every change, digital transformation requires the existence of that person to lead the transition, being leaders and a reference to the company´s employees. This provides a springboards to the company to gain a better competitive position in the long term and providing support to achieve all strategy goals.
The current digital transformation process, which companies currently find themselves in, the strategic importance of a CFO is much higher than decades ago due to their direct relationship between information technologies and data management, which they require in order to execute their financial activities effectively. Thus, the CFO assumes a more relevant roll as a `broker´ in information management, identifying strategic indicators to support the company to carry out digital transformation. This situation places the CFO at the centre of innovation and transformation processes.
To face this situation, the CFO has several challenges to carry out as a digital transformation leader within the company. On the first hand, with use of new technologies they have to control costs and the optimisation processes of cash flow. On the other hand, CFO has to be focused on exploiting information from data to make investing decision, grow strategies and add value. Finally but no less important, the CFO has to extract data to give them the information to make decisions at a strategic level.
Thanks to new technologies, CFO´s will integrate data in a more robust model to obtain complete control over the master data, supporting planification and reporting activities. These activities will be carried out in a more optimised and faster manner due to digital transformation allowing the CFO to obtain more detailed data in real time, reducing the latency of them and exploiting multiple information resources.
In this new digital era CFO´s should be more involved in the digital transformation process of their company to help strengthen the transition and push technological change, and enabling them to take control of the data and information extracted from new technologies. The ability to gain access to key and relevant information makes the role of the CFO in the strategic decision making activities very important.