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11/08/2019

Digital Transformation in the CFO Office

Digital Transformation in the CFO Office
Status and next steps

Early 2019, Sia Partners interviewed a panel of Chief Financial Officers about the digital transformation plans for their function. The objective was to understand how current organizations adapt their finance function to cope in their respective industries with digital transformation, what key opportunities are they seizing and what challenges are they encountering.

Early in this study, a key finding stemmed out: among the interviewees, the transformation of their finance function was a Top Priority for more than 70%. Generally, the drivers for this call to action were either the necessity to cope with years of legacy financial systems and low automation levels, and/or to build a reliable financial platform to support future growth.

During the interviews, we went through understanding these organizations’ finance function current states, their agendas, their technology roadmaps and the role played by their respective Group/Shareholders.

Overall, for most of the interviewees, significant milestones had already been delivered in the last 2 years, with a focus on building a lean and efficient finance operations organization (see Figure 1. Where is the finance function on its transformation journey?). Transforming the Performance Management organization and processes was generally coming next, with some players having already made some progress. Finally, CFOs were actively looking at emerging technologies to further tactically enhance and optimize their operations (like RPA) or identify break-through use cases for Machine Learning and Blockchain for the Finance function.

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