Are You a Technologist CFO? – Becoming a Full Stack CFO
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”
This article is part 3 of a 5-part series focused on Becoming a Full Stack CFO.
As new technology continues disrupting all industries without regard, Albert Einstein’s famous words above ring truer than ever for today’s CFO.
The responsibility to invest in the technology that provides true business value falls squarely on the shoulders of finance chiefs.
The upside of doing this effectively? Market share, market share, and more market share. Many of the cloud-based efficiency applications that continue disrupting industries represent opportunity for a CFO to:
- Tighten operations
- Take a more proactive approach to day-to-day tasks
- Tackle more value-added initiatives that differentiate your business
So far, CFOs have been slow to adapt to disruptive tech. According to Marsh, 24% of businesses have not yet adopted any disruptive technology, and 46% are leveraging just 1-3 disruptive technologies.
This surprising truth represents a ripe opportunity for CFOs, but only the technologically adroit will reap the benefits. Here are the key characteristics of a Technologist CFO:
Are you well-versed in your company’s current tech stack?
In order to effectively understand how disruptive technology can improve your business, you need to have a firm understanding of how it will play along with the technology that is currently supporting your company.
If a new cloud-based solution requires a complete overhaul of your company’s tech infrastructure, then a 30% bump in one team’s efficiency may not be worth the investment. If you can seamlessly integrate a different solution to get the same benefits with minimal overhead, then it likely will be worth the investment.
Are you including your IT team in discussions with potential vendors?
As a rule of thumb, it’s best to run a cloud vendor transition by your IT department while you are still in the evaluation process – before committing to a new vendor – in order to give it a proper heads up.
This will enable IT team members to plan accordingly and set aside time for any work required on their end, and ultimately ensure a seamless transition.
Are you keeping your ear to ground?
Although employees are likely building proposals and business cases for your company to invest in a whole host of potential solutions that they like, you are ultimately responsible for the final decision.
Therefore, it is critical that you bring an informed perspective into every one of these discussions. Keeping up with industry reports and blogs is an excellent starting point. Consulting research firms is also a best practice.