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CFOs and CIOs must work together to forge the future of finance

Craig Charlton, Senior Vice-President, Asia Pacific Operations, Epicor Software Asia | Nov. 26, 2015
A high-functioning IT infrastructure will help CFOs embrace new technologies, address the challenges of big data and meet growing user and customer expectations in order to stay ahead of the competition.

Big Data in the office of the CFO is both a tremendous challenge and equally tremendous opportunity, providing the insights necessary to stay one step ahead of the business' needs. Harnessing Big Data powers better planning and forecasting though data-driven budgeting, and rolling forecasts, and helps minimise risk and fraud, and support better financial modelling and variance analysis.

According to a study done by Aberdeen, organisations with ERP and business analytics are:

  • 2.4 times as likely to enable decision-makers to analyse data from summaries
  • 2.7 times as likely to have a central repository of essential metrics like product costs, KPIs, and create reports
  • 3.3 times as likely to have a fully integrated view of all customer information to improve customer service and take an intelligent approach to sales
  • 2.2 times as likely to be able to plan for and forecast demands
  • 3.3 times as likely to be able to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns

With the analytics applied to ERP, organisations can thus make new connections with their data that were not previously possible, and implement changes that can then be reflected on the bottom line.

You can never have too much information; the key is being able to get that information quickly and analyse it to support smart, agile decision making. This is why analytics capabilities are so vital. But while the promise of analytics is huge, the reality is that CFOs are challenged via the lack of the right systems, tools and skill sets to make good on this promise. A tighter partnership between the CFO and CIO can help address this, bringing the critical competencies into the finance equation.

CFOs that are more involved with managing cybersecurity, kept informed of information management structures, and fostering an analytics-driven organisation are able to better manage the financial well-being of their organisation. With greater collaboration between the CFO and CIO, the ever growing mountain of data that has become available to the organisation can then be leveraged and harnessed for maximum benefit, and become an invaluable edge that leads to future growth.


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