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How Can Finance Lead in Digital Transformation

How can Finance Lead in Digital TransformationWhen it comes to innovation and digital transformation, the finance organization is all too often relegated to the waiting room. With much of the investment in digital aimed at sales enablement, customer experience (“CX”) and Big Data, finance is routinely overlooked as a potential nexus of innovation. This research note identifies the key opportunities and initiatives that can help finance teams lead innovation and digital transformation. 
  • How will organizations lever-age digital transformation?
  • What are the effective strategies for evolving legacy capabilities into the cloud?
  • How should organizations plan, organize, and budget for digital transformation?
  • What role will Finance play in Digital Transformation?
For the past five years, top line growth has been the core metric for driving company valuations. In this quest for growth, enterprises have been investing in new products and business model transformation. A shift from selling goods to selling outcomes, subscription relationships and digital services has catalyzed incremental new investments in technologies to support next level of automation in sales, marketing, and product innovation. 
The over-arching themes of the day have been the “digital transformation” and improving the customer experience (“CX”). In the con-text of these initiatives, finance function has often been relegated to playing a supporting or even a back stage role. And yet, a number of the core enablers to top line growth, to faster time to market, and improved organizational agility reside within the purview of the finance team. 
Our research indicates that historically, the finance organization has not received the levels of investment commensurate with the critical role it plays in accelerating growth and delivering a seamless customer experience Modern finance organization play an increasingly critical role in driving growth and innovation. 
We believe that finance organization does not have to be just a passive recipient of digital transformation initiatives, but in fact, can lead innovation and digital transformation initiatives in a number of critical areas.
Many finance organizations are already participating in or playing a lead role in the overall digital transformation. Progressive CFOs are continuously shoring up inefficiencies in their organizations and replacing manual and semi-manual processes with automation. Money is often described as the lifeblood of a business. Historically, the focus of the finance organization has been on accurate accounting, reporting and expense controls. Increasingly, finance teams are also concentrating on reducing friction in money flows, improving finance productivity, improving business velocity and agility. Focus and precise targeting play key roles in the success of digital finance initiatives.
Finance organizations should consider evolving their role in digital transformation from a passive observer to an active participant and in many cases the driver of the digital transformation initiatives. Companies that relegate finance function to the role of a passive recipient of digital transformation success will see higher costs, slower progress and reduced business impact. Organizations that enable full participation of finance in digital transformation will see improved business agility and velocity, better precision and higher level of trust in financial data, faster time to revenue and better collaboration across functional and geographic boundaries. Modernization of finance can echo back into every operational area of a business and result in improved growth, stronger profitability and gains in market share.
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