The CFO’s role in digital transformation: It’s not just about ROI

CFOs have to maintain the figures in mind, but there have to be additional to the process of digitalization than just economical reward.

Image: iStock/Melpomenem

For outdated faculty IT leaders, making an attempt to provide an IT undertaking to the CFO was a dreaded expertise. Not a lot has improved: Conversations with the CFO at finances time continue on to be complicated. It really is not that CFOs are opposed to IT, but IT gurus without having monetary backgrounds worry they would not be capable to sufficiently answer the CFO’s queries about money expenditure amortization, return on financial commitment (ROI), and other financial matters.

SEE: TechRepublic Quality editorial calendar: IT insurance policies, checklists, toolkits, and research for download (TechRepublic Top quality)

This is why some CEOs I know motivate their non-monetary executives to educate themselves or to get a course in financials.

On the CFO aspect, human methods and occupation growth pros urge CFOs to broaden their visions to the strategic and small business worth of know-how investments, and not just to the dollars and cents. “We’re coming into a new period where by the specifications of present-day CFO are in the end extra assorted, sophisticated, and sweeping,” stated Brent Longval, CFO at Internet marketing Architects, an promoting company. “We are predicted to not only offer counsel to the CEO but to perform a critical job in figuring out strategic expansion prospects for the business enterprise.”

Electronic transformation has been a important technology region the place CFOs are enjoying an active purpose.

“As a CFO, I feel about return on investment, but I also believe about how we as an group can optimize and leverage the information that we are digitalizing,” mentioned Gina Mastantuono, CFO at ServiceNow, which delivers a cloud computing system that allows firms deal with their electronic workflows. “I have to recognize how electronic technological know-how performs, but also request small business price issues, such as, ‘If we put in a human sources recruitment and expertise management process, will it reduced our fee of staff attrition? How will this program generate the base line?'”

Mastantuono is adamant about digitalization’s probable to eradicate departmental information silos—but she also fights the silo battle by actively collaborating with IT and other enterprise units in every single stage of digital transformation projects—from challenge inception to budgeting by execution and shipping and delivery of success. This is an physical exercise that breaks down departmental silo partitions.

SEE: The CFO’s manual to data management (TechRepublic)

“Constructing cross-useful collaboration is a significant ability, and a big key to this is a collaborative connection amongst the CFO and the CIO,” stated Mastantuono. “By aligning finance and IT on the strategic value of digitalization initiatives, we can increase their worth to the company.”

As a CFO, Mastantuono is mindful that she has the electrical power to greenlight jobs and innovations. Central to the course of action is holding a finger on the pulse of the organization, and often communicating with digitalization promoters in IT and all over the small business.

“The foreseeable future of finance encompasses the transformation of men and women, procedures and methods,” mentioned Mastantuono. “As section of this system, the aim of digitalized info really should be that the correct info receives to the right people today at the suitable time. This permits the organization to be proactive for the potential and responsive to the current. To do this, the CFO ought to participate in a strategic organization purpose in digitalization and other initiatives.”

CFOs like Mastantuono should really be a breath of contemporary air to IT and business champions of digitalization, since they motivate and welcome proactive collaboration with CIOs on digitalization and other projects from commence to finish. Moreover, the much more effectively CIOs and CFOs collaborate throughout the lifetimes of jobs, the a lot easier it will be to get assignments to market place more rapidly, and the increased the chance of positive company returns for corporations. 

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