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Wednesday, 22 September 2021 12:17

70% of CIOs lead financial transformation: Workday

By Guest Writer

GUEST RESEARCH: CIOs are helping to lead finance transformation in their organisations with 70% of them polled have ramped their strategies by at least a year, according to a survey by enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources Workday and Deloitte Global.

A More Effective CIO-CFO Partnership is based on a survey of more than 600 executives worldwide. It reveals that individuals referred to as progressive CIOs, which represent just 8% of the total sample, take a specific approach to enterprise finance transformation and behave differently than their peers with regard to mindset, collaboration, and technology strategy.

Progressive CIOs have built strategic alliances across their organisations, with 90% of progressive CIOs reporting that their IT departments are much more integrated into other areas of the business than they were 12 months ago.

Progressive CIOs support finance transformation in three key areas, including:

Leveraging data to fuel decision-making: Progressive CIOs prioritise data aggregation and data management and understand that building effective data use is critical. Nearly all progressive CIOs (92%) say that “aggregating enterprise finance data into a single source of truth is their top priority.”

Collaborating with finance to drive transformation: When it comes to enterprise finance transformation, there can be serious financial implications when misalignment between IT and the finance function occurs. 83% of progressive CIOs stated that “we will miss our growth targets unless the IT and finance functions work more closely.”

Adopting an agile, incremental cloud approach to transformation: Progressive CIOs recognise that modernisation cannot be done at the expense of the business. Over half (54%) of progressive CIOs (compared to 37% of the total sample) are more likely to incrementally deploy capabilities in an end-to-end cloud strategy to modernise their firms’ legacy enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs), minimising disruption while executing advanced digital initiatives.

“The research shows that progressive CIOs are focusing on IT-finance collaboration, agile execution, and developing the right data capabilities, equipping them to accelerate finance transformation and drive strategic business results,” points out Workday chief information officer Sheri Rhodes.

“Modernising and automating finance operations is a key digital initiative for today’s enterprises, underscoring the importance of the CIO and CFO relationship in order to meet business goals,” Rhodes says.

“Successful IT leaders are working closely with the finance function to drive toward common goals, processes, and priorities,” says Deloitte Global Workday financial management leader Matt Schwenderman. “Progressive CIOs recognise that the digital disruption triggering finance transformation will focus leadership on business insights and data analytics.”

“Almost two thirds of CFOs are currently moving their finance operations to the cloud and investing in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) solutions. The collaboration between the CIO and the CFO is crucial in driving these transformations and ensuring business success,” comments Workday Australia and New Zealand managing director and vice president Stephen Jack.

“Gone are the days where the CIO was the sole architect of technology enablement and digital transformation. Today, every C-suite member has to be a digital leader, and C-suite collaboration on a digital strategy is core to success,” concludes Aurecon CIO Carl Duckinson.

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