Relentless digital developments have created the chance for the finance team to become true strategic leaders across the business—but they have also raised expectations and generated new challenges.

Business Trends for CFOS in the Digital Age?

Digital developments have historically been handled within a single department. Customer service responded to the growth of social; the marketing team needed a mobile-friendly version of the website; the CIO moved computing power from on-premise into the cloud; and so on.

The CFO’s digital role has most often been about understanding the new jargon, so that sensible decisions could be made (“You want to spend how much on ‘Social media’?”). That has changed. The four areas of mobile, cloud, social and big data form one of the biggest business trends in recent times, in what Gartner calls the “Nexus of Forces”. Mobile phones, powered by the cloud, socially connected and continuously generating data have fundamentally altered the way that employees and customers behave.

They are offering faster information, smarter data, leaner processes and better ways of organising teams across the business—in other words they are rapidly and permanently altering many of the core functions of the finance team.

It’s clear that a top-to-bottom digital transformation of your business is needed if you want to thrive in the next 10 years. But less than a quarter of businesses are getting on with implementing changes.