Over the last years, the business environment has changed rapidly because of the introduction of new technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Nowadays, digitalisation should be high on the agenda of every organisation. This has only been emphasized by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now is the time to move forward and embrace the numerous opportunities that digitalisation has to offer.
What many organisations lack, however, is someone that stands up and takes the lead in the organisation’s digital transformation process. The Centre for Financial Leadership and Digital Transformation puts forward the CFO as the one in an ideal position to take up a pioneering role in this journey. He/she can guide the organisation through this process in a successful way.
In this white paper, we focus on three main questions. In a first step, we examine the current level of involvement of CFOs in their organisation’s digital transformation journey. Next, we verify whether the CFO’s involvement affects the organisation’s digital maturity and finally, we investigate how successful digital CFOs distinguish themselves from the others. In other words, we examine what it takes to become a successful digital leader.
We believe that the results of our white paper, which are based on a survey among Belgian CFOs active in the SME landscape, are highly relevant for all finance leaders who want to embark on a successful digital transformation journey. The study is part of a master’s thesis by Michaël Caubergs and Juline Raemdonck (Master students, KU Leuven), together with supervisor Kristof Stouthuysen (Professor of Management Accounting & Digital Finance, Vlerick Business School) and coach Tineke Distelmans (doctoral researcher, Vlerick Business School).
Guess what? It’s the CFO who takes the lead!