A top challenge for the finance chiefs of corporations around the globe has increasingly become completing a full assessment of the company given all the data it is gathering in a digital world.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal citing a survey by Workday, only 39 percent of more than 670 finance executives polled around the world said they are very confident about managing the risks at the company. The survey found that the finance chiefs don't have the skills within their teams — and with little collaboration between the C-suite, it’s difficult to get ahold of all the digital data to assess risk. “Finance as a department is lagging behind in supporting the transformation toward more digital companies,” said Betsy Bland, a vice president in Workday’s financial management division, in the Wall Street Journal report. “Businesses will be at risk of not surviving if they don’t make changes.” The survey also found that close to 75 percent of those surveyed said the roles of finance workers will have to be redefined as robotics and artificial intelligence increases within the workplace. As a result, chief financial officers will have to hire data scientists, statisticians, data security professionals and information technology workers to oversee the changes coming to finance departments around the globe.
“The world of business is only getting more complex, dynamic, and competitive. The time is now for finance leaders to focus on redefining their function across several key areas to continue driving business growth and lead in the increasingly digital economy,” said Bland in prepared remarks announcing the study results last week. “This requires finance to invest in cultivating the right skills, bridging better connections to other leaders, and pushing the boundaries of technology to break down data silos and outpace the competition.” Workaday noted the research underscores the need for finance departments to invest in people and capabilities so that companies can use data to drive decision making in the future.