TCS has kicked off its latest big study on digital transformation in the executive suite, with this one focusing on chief financial officers. You may have seen some of our other recent studies (one with chief marketing officers, another with chief information officers coming soon, and another one, “Winning in a Business 4.0 World” published in late 2018 with a mix of senior functional executives).
The 2019 TCS CFO Study Launch
But for those who want deeper insights on the economic issues of digital initiatives – especially on the types of functional investments that have the best financial returns – I predict you’ll find our CFO study intriguing when the results come out in late summer. We’ll shine a light on the digital strategies of 500 CFOs and other finance executives in global companies based in North America and Europe to help you and your organization stay ahead of the curve.
Like their counterparts who run the IT function, CFOs are in the middle of the maelstrom that digital technology has created over this decade. Both play crucial roles. And it’s not only to harness artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, machine learning and other technologies to improve their departments.
Business Impact of the CFO
The CFO can have a big impact on where a large company invests its digital resources, given that capital allocation is a key aspect of their role. I know many CFOs who spend lots of time helping the CEO sort out the functional budget requests that compete for funding. Who better than the CFO to help the CEO determine which digital initiatives should get what levels of investment?
We shouldn’t forget that CFOs also have many great opportunities to use digital technology to sharpen and streamline the operations of finance and accounting. That’s because a company’s financial data is essential to keeping it healthy – to detecting potential problems before they mount, but also to identify new profit opportunities that are hard to see. I’ve written about this topic previously in a blog post, “How Leveraging Digital Data Can Boost Your Top Line,” which you might find interesting.
Finance Opportunities with Machine First Automation
Many TCS clients have been aggressively automating the numerous transactions that wind their way through finance, especially billing customers and paying suppliers. Taking what we call a machine-first approach to automation not only reduces the cost of running a finance department. It also frees up financial analysts from having to do the repetitive, mundane manual work that machines can do far better than people can.
Many of our clients are taking these finance people and redeploying then into more interesting jobs – jobs that help a big company zero in on the ebbs and flows of money in a far-flung organization (wasted spending, suspicious payments, financially unsteady customers and suppliers, and so on). Companies that can then organize their finance people into agile teams are able to pounce on these problems – and on new opportunities to improve pricing, identify customers that may be ready to buy more – faster and better. (By the way, making an organization agile in this and other ways begins at the very top, which I’ve written about before here, “An Agile Manifesto for the Board.”)
Stay Tuned for TCS CFO Study Updates
These are some of the issues we’ll explore in our 2019 CFO study. If you are looking for insights on them, you need to stay tuned for our research findings in the months ahead.
About the author(s)
Dave Jordan is Vice President & Global Head, Consulting & Services Integration at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). In this role, Dave leads a team focused on the strategic journey of leading enterprises as they transform and grow their businesses. Through his leadership, the team strategically consults clients navigating disruptive technologies and enables enterprises on their path to Business 4.0 success.
Dave partners with C-Suite leaders on business and technology strategies in areas such as M&A, supply chain, finance transformation and customer experience while driving agility across these enterprises. He helps clients deliver transformative change, leveraging digital technologies to create and implement new business models, as well as launch new products and services to support these new models. Dave has supported the largest, mission-critical programs for marquee clients like DuPont, General Motors and Pepsi International.
Dave has over 25 years of experience as a strategic advisor to global companies. Prior to TCS, Dave has held leadership roles and extensive experience with other consulting organizations like Accenture, PwC/IBM, CSC and Booz-Allen & Hamilton.
Dave currently resides in the Washington D.C. metro area with wife Barbara and has two daughters Jenny and Katie. Outside of work, Dave will be found on the tennis courts and boardrooms of various education reform initiatives.