CIOs and IT leaders are helping to lead finance transformation and shifting strategies to meet evolving business and technology demands, as 70% of them accelerated their finance transformation strategies by at least a year due to COVID-19, according to the Deloitte report “A More Effective CIO-CFO Partnership”, conducted in collaboration with Workday, a leader in enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources. The report also highlights that CIOs and IT leaders are facing increased pressures to adapt and accelerate their digital strategies, as 45% of them say they need to innovate more quickly and 43% are under pressure to create greater enterprise agility.
The study indicates that companies with progressive CIOs, identified as the ones who take a specific approach to enterprise finance transformation and behave differently than their peers with regard to mindset, collaboration, and technology strategy, outperform their competitors on a series of levels. For instance, companies with progressive CIOs outperform the average on a range of business metrics, particularly employee satisfaction (85% vs. 58%) and cybersecurity performance (81% vs. 67%). Also, 90% of progressive CIOs reported that their IT departments are much more integrated into other areas of the business than they were 12 months ago, compared to 72% of the total number of respondents.
In order to support finance transformation, the report underlines the importance of developing a collaborative approach between the functions of a company, a trait that 60% of the progressive CIOs prove to have, compared to 44% of respondents overall. Additionally, progressive CIOs try to ensure that their priorities are both strategically aligned and well understood by all key stakeholders. They see working in close alignment with the finance function and the top management team as a core part of their role and 81% find it easy to work with C-suite executives, (compared to 55% of the wider sample), and 63% work easily with the finance function, which is 12% more than the wider sample.
“Collaboration between the CIO and the key stakeholders within the company, including the CFO, is important for driving finance transformation. A lack of coordination between IT and the finance function can lead to serious financial implication, which can jeopardize business operations, and the progressive CIOs are aware of this risk, as 83% of them stated that they would miss their growth targets unless the IT and finance functions work more closely. CIOs must be aware of the fact that the success of their actions does not rely on having the most advanced technology or the biggest budget, but on a mindset and a considered set of priorities, which also include the collaborative approach,” stated Vladimir Aninoiu, Technology Director within the Consulting practice of Deloitte Romania.
The report also underlines that adopting an agile, incremental cloud approach to transformation is another key area on which progressive CIOs focus when thinking about finance transformation. Over half (54%) of progressive CIOs (compared to 37% of the total respondents) are more likely to progressively deploy capabilities in an end-to-end cloud strategy to modernize their firms’ legacy enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs), minimizing disruption while executing advanced digital initiatives.
While supporting finance transformation, another important area of focus considered by the progressive CIOs is data aggregation and data management, the study shows, as 92% of this group say that aggregating enterprise finance data into a single source of truth (SSOT) is their top priority, compared to only 72% of the total respondents.
Progressive CIOs also take risks, are more detail-oriented and are more likely than the average IT leader to identify strategic tasks as the areas where they would like more responsibility. For example, 56% of progressive CIOs say they would like to do “significantly more” when it comes to educating the organization.
The Deloitte report “A More Effective CIO-CFO Partnership”, conducted together with Workday, is based on a survey of more than 600 executive worldwide, including directors of IT, CIOs, finance IT, vice-presidents of IT, CTOs, from various industries such as banking, consumer, energy, pharma, communications, media and technology, real estate and construction, hospitality and leisure and transportation and logistics.