The modern chief financial officer (CFO) is a technology evangelist who recognizes the value of digital and cloud technologies for the finance function and the business as a whole, but a gap remains between CFO ambitions and reality, a survey by Oracle and Accenture indicated.
Respondents included 1,275 CFOs, senior finance executives and line business executives from organizations around the world of varying sizes and industries, 300 of whom were senior non-finance executives.
More than two-thirds of respondents agree the CFO is a strong evangelist for the transformational potential of technology and nearly three-quarters of finance executives believe new technologies such as the cloud, mobile technology and social media will change how finance is structured and run.
The results of the survey also indicate CFOs over the past year have made progress since an earlier Oracle and Accenture study, The CFO as Catalyst for Change, which found CFOs across the world wanted more strategic engagement but instead were focused on battling costs, economic volatility and organizational complexity.
While about 30 percent of finance and line-of-business executives responding agree their processes are still paper-based, there is a clear trend toward automating and digitizing processes, with nearly 50 percent now using mobile apps and 53 percent leveraging Web-based systems.
Only 5 percent of respondents cite lack of senior management support as a barrier to adopting new technologies in the finance function. Ability, rather than willingness, seems to be a greater factor, with 38 percent of respondents citing lack of internal skills as a key barrier.
In addition, just 20 percent of C-suite executive respondents believe that their finance organizations have adopted leading-edge technologies, in contrast to sales organizations, in which 43 percent of C-suite executives view as already having done so.
Survey respondents clearly see the potential for the cloud to deliver new insights through advanced analytics and business intelligence. More than one-quarter of respondents (28 percent) are already using the cloud to support budgeting, planning and forecasting, and another 34 percent plan to move them into the cloud within the next year.
In addition, more than two-thirds of executives surveyed have either already adopted a cloud-based system in some part of their organization for core financials (24 percent), or are planning a road map for doing so (45 percent).
Survey respondents clearly see the potential for the cloud to deliver new insights through advanced analytics and business intelligence.
More than one-quarter of respondents (28 percent) are already using the cloud to support budgeting, planning and forecasting, and another 34 percent plan to move them into the cloud within the next year.