Redefining Boundaries: A CFO Perspective

IBM has recently launched Redefining Boundaries: The Global C-Suite Study, highlighting the responses of 5,247 business leaders, including 643 chief financial officers. The study found that CxOs expect more industry convergence over the next few years, creating new forms of competition. “Digital invaders” with non-traditional business models are entering the arena. They’re bringing technological innovation and massive cross-industry change.


What is the CFO perspective on how the business landscape will change in 3 to 5 years?


CFOs think three technologies will revolutionize their businesses in the coming three to five years: Cloud Computing, Mobile Solutions and the Internet of Things. Cognitive computing and advanced manufacturing are in the next wave.

What is the CFO perspective on the technologies that will impact their business in 3 to 5 years?


Who better to help their enterprises manage these new forces than the CFO?

CFOs must continue the path of transformation through their three new imperatives:

  1. CFOs must drive enterprise agility. This requires designing an operating model that responds with speed and agility. It requires integrating data and processes end-to-end across the enterprise. Through cloud-based deployments, Finance can access best-of-breed applications for performance management and other activities while reducing IT overhead and shifting costs from capital to operating expenses.
  2. CFOs must help the business make better decisions. This requires leveraging new data sources, integrating financial and operational information, and applying advanced analytics to create valuable insights. Mobile technology allows Finance to increase its access to information through on-the-go dashboards and interactive reports for faster decision making.
  3. CFOs must drive profitable growth. This requires evaluating the new strategic mandates to maximize profit opportunities. Finance must also evaluate and manage investments in customer engagement and individualization.  CFOs must collaborate with their C-suite peers around strategic planning and business model innovation.

By evolving their roles based on the disruption we’re experiencing in a variety of industries, CFOs and finance organizations can help their enterprises position for, shape, and create the future.

To get more insights from 5,247 C-suite executives, including 643 CFOs from 21 industries in more than 70 countries, download the IBM Global C-suite Study.

Chemicals and Petroleum Lead, CFO Lead, IBM Institute for Business Value

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