Thoughts from Proformative CFO Dimensions Conference
Last week, we had the opportunity to participate in the Proformative CFO Dimensions Conference in New York. A leading event for corporate finance executives, the conference was specifically focused on the topics that are most pressing for the financial community. What became very clear from the speakers, discussions and attendees is that the cloud is at the top of the agenda for the office of the CFO. A common theme emanating from the event was the use of cloud technology to transform businesses and create more value.
This message was reinforced by Marc Linden, CFO of Intacct, who spoke at the conference about how cloud technology enables CFOs to transition from ‘bean counters,’ who handle transaction-level processing, to ‘value enablers.’ This message was well received in a room where many CFOs seemed to have already accepted the cloud as the solution, and were now focusing on how to get there. CFOs know they are spending too much time on transactions, and were genuinely interested in best practices for managing a move to the cloud in order to change this.
The idea of transforming to a value enabler couldn’t resonate more with Tidemark’s vision. Today’s CFOs are not only searching for ways to transform their role, but also their entire business. In order to do this, they need to be armed with technology that enables real-time insights to inform more strategic, performance-driven decisions.
John Kogan, CEO of Proformative, echoed this sentiment in his guidance on key takeaways from the event. He specifically noted:
- The importance of driving growth initiatives throughout organizations using the unique reach and capabilities of the finance and accounting organization; and
- That best practices for current and emerging technologies, such as cloud, can transform finance organizations and have the added benefit of creating efficiency and performance for finance teams.
These ideas are gaining momentum. In fact, CFOs today are increasingly responsible for driving the effort to transform their organizations. A recent Wall Street Journal article discussed how the CFO’s influence over IT is growing rapidly. CFOs and CIOs are teaming up to provide strategic direction over technology investments. Citing new research from Gartner, the article notes the CFO’s influence over IT investments has increased by more than 40 percent over the last two years.
Also according to Gartner, business intelligence (BI), analytics and performance management are the top areas for CFOs’ IT interest. 15 of the top 19 business processes prioritized for technology investment by CFOs in 2013 are addressed by these technologies.
These findings clearly illustrate that CFOs have a leading role to play in transforming organizations, however, based on the discussion at Proformative, it seems clear that many are still struggling to identify best practices for implementing cloud technologies. They don’t yet know how.
We can help. At Tidemark, we are providing the guidance CFOs need to unlock and create value, using cloud and business analytics to transform organizations every day. CFOs using Tidemark have made the transition from bean counter to value enabler. Are you ready to make the change?