As a CFO, you have to be analytical on every project that comes your way for approval. When someone suggests digitally transforming the whole business, you want to know what the benefits are from the project and will this achieve a positive ROI? It’s important to know all the angles before making a decision. What do CFOs gain from digital transformation?
1) Being the driver of the project
CFOs have been known to be the spearhead of digitally transforming businesses, why you may ask? The CFO responsibilities include financial reporting, financial planning and financial risks which puts the CFO right into the mixer for making decisions. In fact, did you know that digital transformation projects tend to fall apart when there isn’t a clear leader within the project. What is the answer to the leadership problem? It’s for the CFO to step up to the plate and take the responsibility for the project alongside the CIO/CTO because you as a team will be able to make the best decisions for your business using your leadership experience.
2) Cost Efficiency
What information do we CFOs love to hear? It’s being told of new ways of saving money and spending more efficiently. Digital transformation projects can seem a ‘luxury we can’t afford’ and we understand that CFO’s need to see clear ROI and business benefit before signing off any expenditure. Setting goals and targets throughout the scope of the project will enable you to see the quick wins and cost savings as you travel through your digital transformation journey. Some examples are; streamlining your IT operations, increasing customer experience or the cost savings can also come from the least obvious of sources such as utilities or office utilisation. Cost savings can come in many ways but what these are depend on your requirements and needs for your business.
3) Digital process and technology
We have all seen in the news recently about large businesses being fined for data breaches, hackers holding data to ransom and more recently the huge fine Equifax had to pay for their data breach back in 2017 (£500,000). What does this have to do with CFO’s? Firstly, £500,000 is a large fine to pay, secondly a lot of these could have been prevented if the correct processes, technology and infrastructure were in place. We know that preventing hackers is becoming a full-time job but spending time and money on your digital transformation project and IT infrastructure will inevitably reduce your risk of having to fork out hundreds of thousands of pounds on fines if your data is compromised.
4) Indirect benefits
What indirect benefits can a CFO get from digitally transforming the business? There’re too many examples to explain in one blog so here are the ones I think are critical:
Customer Experience – This could be seen as the heart of the digital transformation, you want to make the customer think that you are the best company to buy from. We can always improve the way we engage with our customers but making this process easier, smoother and less time consuming can go a long way to improving their customer experience. Customers that feel valued are more likely to return and buy more, recommend to friends and family and on talk about them on social media. Having your business think ‘digital first’ is, in today’s retail/e-tail environment critical, with more avenues to buy, customers are looking at companies who can handle the demand quickly and effortlessly.
Reduce staff turnover and increase wellbeing – New technology in the workplace that streamlines working processes, allowing clearer reporting, monitoring and staff interaction can lead to greater productivity. If staff feel valued and listened to they are more inclined to buy into new initiatives, support company vision and ultimately work harder. All this contributes to your growth as a business.
Digital Transformation isn’t about the cost of the IT system, it is a culture and company change. Investing time and money into systems that help your company run smoother, interact with staff and customer more easily has a much higher value than ‘just the cost’.
If you want to know more about how digital transformation can help your business contact us on 0845 226 4167 or firstname.lastname@example.org.