Digital Transformation

4 ways finance leaders must change their thinking to embrace digital transformation

New findings from Workday reveal how financial leaders can better keep pace with digital transformation.

While financial industry leaders are trying to keep pace with digital transformation, a new report from Workday, Inc. revealed that their efforts haven't advanced enough.

According to the report, financial leadership needs to invest in people and capabilities required to drive their decision making through strategic insight.

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However, the report found that many of the current corporate functions can't deliver this insight because of how difficult it is to integrate finance and non-finance data.

Similarly, this kind of skill set isn't present on most financial teams. According to the report, ineffective collaboration on data decision making serves as a barrier for effective digital transformation as well.

"The time is now for finance leaders to focus on redefining their function across several key areas to continue driving business growth and lead in the increasingly digital economy," Betsy Bland, vice president of financial management corporate strategy for Workday, said in the report. "This requires finance to invest in cultivating the right skills, bridging better connections to other leaders, and pushing the boundaries of technology to break down data silos and outpace the competition."

The report noted these four ways that financial leaders can improve their chances of digital transformation success

1. Resilience

The report found that only 39% of financial leaders felt highly confident in their risk management strategies. The inability to make meaning out of data and system-related issues were noted in the report as major barriers to improving risk management. Resilience could prove beneficial to leaders who create a culture that prioritizes data-driven risk analysis.

2. Intelligence

Though in a data-driven economy analytics is becoming increasingly important, the report found that only 35% of finance leaders took advantage of the analytics given to them in important areas such as planning, forecasting, and budgeting. The biggest challenge in integrating more of this data is a difficulty in integrating finance and non-finance data, the report noted.

3. Leadership

Some 74% of respondents noted that the working relationships between CIOs and CFOs need to be strong in order to more effectively collaborate, according to the report. However, 68% of respondents reported that CIO-CFO communication is limited because they don't "speak the same language (terminology, jargon, etc.)."

4. Talent

According to the report, 74% of respondents noted that robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) will force them to redefine financial roles. The report found that financial leaders are looking for talent with skills beyond traditional roles to include data scientists and statisticians.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Financial leaders are trying to embrace digital transformation, but are often falling short, according to a new report from Workday.
  • According to the report, leaders should improve their resilience, intelligence, leadership, and talent to better position themselves for digital transformation success.

Also see

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Image: iStock/NicoElNino

About Laurel Deppen

Laurel Deppen is a student at Western Kentucky University.

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