The Chief Financial Officer: A Number Cruncher or a Driver of Innovation and Change?

Posted on 30th October 2019 | Share

The Chief Financial Officer: A Number Cruncher or a Driver of Innovation and Change?

The role of the Chief Financial Officer has changed dramatically over the last few years: not only are they the responsible stewards of businesses, but more recently have become the drivers of innovation and change.

In 2019, a third (32%) of CFOs are now leading the transformation strategy for their respective finance functions, meaning the modern CFO is also in the front seat when decision making on technology.


The Future CFO

Driven by the rise in technological advances, dramatic changes have occurred within the finance function over the past decade.

The advances in automation, analytics, data and robotics, made possible through cloud-based solutions, is redefining and reshaping the role of CFOs.

Yet, today’s CFOs remain largely confident of their own skills in this rapidly progressive digital world. Despite the rapid increase in AI, 31% of CFOs think that only 1-25% of their current role will be taken over by AI and robotics in the next 10 years, whilst 60% say that at most half (50%) of their job will be replaced.

The Chief Financial Officer: A Number Cruncher or a Driver of Innovation and Change? infographic

The Progression of Digitalisation

Whilst many organisations and CFOs have made great strides in innovating and improving their finance function this year, they are yet to realise real potential that the future of financial software can offer.

By harnessing digital technologies to enhance its data-processing capabilities, any finance function could become its organisation’s strategic centre for analytics and advice.

At present the finance function is often constrained by:

  • The inflexibility of its financial management software and legacy ERP systems (34%)
  • Regulatory and legislative barriers (30%) 
  • A shortage of the requisite skill sets for capitalising on new technological advances (39%) 


At the same time only 18% of financial management systems are hosted on the cloud. Without cloud infrastructure many organisations will continue to struggle to adopt a more efficient and agile operating model for the finance function.

In an attempt to address this and align current systems with digitalisation strategies, 39% of organisations plan to move to their own cloud.

A further 24% plan to move their current financial management software to their existing supplier’s cloud-hosted service, or to a new supplier’s cloud-hosted SaaS.


Integra Centros – From Integrated Business Software and Solutions

Integra Centros is a cloud-based solution suite for finance, procurement and related functions.

Modular, scalable, flexible and reliable, it is shaped and driven by IBSS's 30 years of expertise in meeting current and imminent imperatives across multiple industry sectors.  

Our clients are delighted to see that our cloud data centres can deliver at least 35% in savings and (as being environmentally conscious is important to us) they have a lower carbon footprint than conventional data centres.

Our service is fully managed. We take care of everything from the technical aspect, to the staffing. You can just focus on running your business with complete peace of mind.


Finance Futures Report – Download Your Copy Now

Over the next 12 months, we’ve forecasted big growth of digitalisation within organisations. We expect that more companies will start to recognise the benefits of new technologies and begin implementing them into their processes.

We have conducted our own research to confirm that many organisations, as they strive to remain fit for the future, have made great strides with their transformation strategies.

IBSS carried out this survey to provide organisations with relevant insights that:

  • Will enable senior executives to compare the progress of their digital transformation strategies against the progress of their peers.
  • Build a real-time overview of how organisations in the UK and Ireland are meeting their strategic priorities as they work towards their business transformation objectives.
  • Feed into IBSS' own R&D programme, to ensure that our financial management software is aligned to our clients’ priorities.

You can download your own copy of the full Finance Futures report now.

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