The future of finance: Using disruption to accelerate transformation

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A recent IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) report “The CFO mission to uncover the unknown – Applying analytics and cognitive computing for efficiency and insights” indicates that 80 percent of finance teams expect to use analytics to drive performance, manage risk and compliance, and optimize processes within two years.


About half of the organizations surveyed also plan to implement cognitive computing within the next two years.

Meeting these goals will require that CFOs assume a larger, more prominent role within the business—one that provides transformation leadership and embraces technology, as well as deep change management capabilities. As their roles expand, CFOs have tremendous opportunities to make significant contributions to their organizations, including the following:


  • Digital reinvention of finance through integrating new technologies—including automation, advanced analytics, blockchain and cognitive—to transform cost structures, drive efficiencies, enable more responsible, agile operations and generate actionable insights


  • Implement new-skills training, especially in analytics insights, to reduce manual processing and rebalance and redeploy staff to higher-value activities that help ensure relevancy and productivity, now and into the future


A wealth of new digital enablers is available to CFOs to help increase the efficiency of traditional activities, reduce total cost of ownership (TCO), and decrease manual activities.


They include the following:

  • Digitization, intelligent process automation and robotics
  • Design thinking, which fosters organizational, cultural change and business partner buy-in
  • Cloud and business process as-a-service (BPaaS), which provide transaction cost models that can nimbly scale up or down—delivered from virtually any device, anytime and anywhere
  • Advanced and predictive analytics and report automation—rules-based accounting process and exception reporting, with the CFO functioning as the chief analytics officer
  • Security-rich transactions and ledgers enabled by blockchain, which offers significant potential to reduce cost and drive efficiencies
  • Internet of Things (IoT) sensor delivering data that feeds into a cognitive computing engine, radically improving insights and outcomes
  • Reduction or elimination of exception-handling through virtual cognitive assistants
  • Industry-specific solutions to help support business outcomes in the areas of risk, revenue, working capital, assurance, investment decisions, and compliance


Digital reinvention paves the way for and supports cognitive systems, which help you:

  • Make better-informed decisions.
  • Scale expertise to the most experienced individuals.
  • Discover new insights.
  • Improve accuracy, quality, consistency, and compliance.


As CFOs increasingly embrace cognitive technologies, IBM continues to pioneer solutions to help them bridge the gap between new opportunities and current capabilities. IBM can deliver deep technology skills, experience and tools, teaming with CFOs to reinvent end processes through automation, analytics and cognitive.


For more information on how IBM can help you reinvent your financial processes and use digital transformation to accelerate your path to cognitive, visit our website.

Brand Amplification Lead Benelux

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