With the continuous development and adoption of new technologies and trends – such as cloud computing, robotics, blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI) – and the availability of vast amounts of data, people’s roles in the finance function are undeniably changing. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has served as a wake-up call for many finance leaders to start investing in the digitalisation of their department. Indeed, today’s finance leaders have the opportunity to act as a catalyst for reshaping the business strategy and deploying AI technologies to digitally revolutionise the finance function and enhance their value creation and value protection role.
The digital journey, however, encompasses more than the mere adoption of several technologies: it involves many challenges that go beyond the obvious technical aspects, such as organisational and cultural difficulties. As the finance function must not lag behind in the digital era, a crucial task awaits finance leaders: they must reinvent themselves and their department in order to successfully embark on this digitalisation journey.
We believe our synthesis of how to formulate a digital transformation strategy, along with the 9 must-have characteristics of a true digital finance leader, can equip these leaders to successfully tackle the upcoming challenges of digitalisation!
Our Centre for Financial Leadership and Digital Transformation has the ambition to reach out to all finance leaders to help them embark on a successful digital transformation journey and become true digital finance leaders. In our first workshop, the Centre tackled the question: ‘What should the finance leader of the future look like?’ The insights of that workshop were gathered and analysed and resulted in this white paper. A must-read for each finance leader whose aim is to inspire, support, and empower his/her department to embrace the digitalisation of the finance function.
Professor of Management Accounting & Digital Finance