- Inflation and other macroeconomic factors have pushed digital transformation to the top of CFOs’ priority list, a recent study found. The 2022 Global CFO survey — conducted by Everest Group and supported by business process management company WNS Holdings Limited — found today’s CFOs are identifying digital as a key priority.
- Seventy percent of CFOs pointed to implementing digital technologies that can improve efficiency, effectiveness and stakeholder experience as their main priority, the study of more than 300 CFOs found.
- In order to meet their goals of agility and resilience at their firms, as well as develop a “future-ready” finance function, CFOs “must adopt an end-to-end approach toward transformation in order to drive business growth, optimize stakeholder experience and scale business initiatives over the long-term,” Keshav R. Murugesh, group CEO for WNS said in a statement.
While digital transformation became a key strategic priority for many companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges facing CFOs in today’s environment have shifted, impacting their approach to digitization.
A 2020 Everest Group study found CFOs pointed to changing customer needs as their top challenge, for example, while inflationary pressure and other related factors mean cost and pricing pressures are now top of mind for today’s financial leaders. Pricing and cost pressures were the third largest challenge identified by CFOs in 2020, according to the group’s previous study.
Investing in automation or other key technologies can not only aid CFOs in reducing costs, but it can also allow finance departments to operate more strategically, “serial CFO” Christina Ross, now CEO of FP&A software provider Cube, said in a recent interview.
Investing in such technologies now, amid forecasts of recession, also means CFOs will be able to lower costs and increase productivity, she said.
Notably, while 65% of CFOs said access to stable funding was key to successfully implementing their digital transformation initiatives, in practice, securing consistent funding remains a challenge, according to the study.
Overall, finance executives are more willing to invest in 2022 than in past years, with approximately 70% of companies stating their willingness to invest compared with 47% who said the same in 2020. However, most CFOs are still reviewing technology spending on a case-by-case basis rather than investing in large-scale initiatives, the study found.
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