The role of the finance team in organisations is changing. The finance team has become ever more responsible for creation of competitive advantage within the organisation; through driving insight and innovation quickly and responsively across the business.
The key concerns of finance have always been the streamlining of processes, the reduction of costs, and achieving rapid ROI and substantial IRR on investments. This has traditionally lead to a focus on efficiency and cost reduction at the expense of innovation and growth.
There is now a shift in focus from just being an efficient operation to a focus on engagement with customers, taking an outside-in view. This shift in focus requires a change in mindset and culture, both inside and outside finance. Further, it requires new ways of working and new technologies.
The CFO needs to get a clear understanding of the business needs and drive a can-do attitude to innovation. New ways of working combined with new technologies such as Serverless Cloud are key facilitators in this change. The business should be designed around what the customer wants, and it is not always the case that the business has a good understanding of what this is, particularly as it changes over time; these changes are becoming more frequent and unpredictable and can often catch the business out.
The drive for customer centric innovation is further hampered by legacy systems and inefficient technology practices that are a cost burden and barrier to innovation. Legacy technology processes are slow and expensive, a recent IDC report identified that 2/3 of delivered solutions are never or rarely used. This high level of waste in IT spend results in a poor ROI and IRR.
The CFO is looking for low risk, low cost outcomes that will deliver a high IRR and rapid ROI. Taking an outcomes based approach to delivering solutions, along with leveraging lean ways of working and Serverless Cloud Technologies driven by the CFO, is the key to successful Digital Transformation.