CFOs and other finance leaders recognize that future business success requires boosting digital acceleration. Digital projects that fell into the “we’ll do that someday” category pre-pandemic became matters of survival when COVID-19 turned the whole world upside down. The top goals of finance leaders, our research finds, are to gain greater agility in planning, reporting, and resource-capacity management. Our latest global survey reveals that to meet these goals, most leaders prioritize the adoption of smart technologies and cross-functional skills sharing.
Our report, "Organizational Agility: The Roadmap to Digital Acceleration”, details the results from the survey, which polled 1,024 C-suite executives and their direct reports from 14 countries and 12 industries. Four key findings emerged across all industries and roles:
Digital revenues dominate and are accelerating. Over the past 12 months, the number of firms expecting 75% or more of their revenue to come from digital sources within the next three years increased by three times, from 12% to 36%.
Smart technology is driving digital growth. Organizations that are deploying artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), or robotic process automation (RPA) are more than twice as likely to report high levels of digital revenue as those that have made little or no such progress.
Changing tools is easier than changing minds and habits. While more than half of organizations (56%) say their technology is compatible with digital transformation goals, just 16% say the same about their company’s culture. Adopting new technology to streamline workflows and help employees in their day-to-day roles is critical for boosting technology ROI.
Agility builds resilience. One-third of leaders agree that faster digital growth improves organizational resilience. For example, companies that rapidly responded to the pandemic are more likely to have embedded agile capabilities such as data accessibility and cross-functional collaboration.
What Are the Top Takeaways for Financial Leaders?
The 2020 survey found that a majority of financial leaders are planning to improve digital acceleration and organizational agility by expanding their abilities in:
Smart Technologies and Greater Collaboration Improve Planning
To improve continuous planning, financial leaders prioritize smart technology deployment (40%), and 32% consider smart technology capabilities to be the most important skill type in their organizations. Additionally, more than one-third seek to improve team collaboration during planning activities (36%) and real-time data access (35%):