Finance is fundamentally changing. The speed of business and increasing volume of data means Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) are running short of time—time they could spend keeping an eye on what their competitors are doing as well as time waiting for change to be implemented.
Technology can empower CFOs in driving the business towards its goals, as they can be at the center of decision-making in the face of changing customer needs and new competitive threats. Ultimately, the CFO can be considered the ‘economic guardian’—the person who is there to provide insight, direction, and measurement of business outcomes.
In manufacturing, the CFO role is evolving. This is due to the growing focus on investment towards technology-led growth. The fourth industrial revolution is seeing manufacturers put digital transformation front and center, a radical rethink of how they use technology to increase productivity and efficiency. Enterprise-wise digitization allows manufacturers to change business models, the way they deliver services, and the customer experience.
Although controlling costs and keeping an eye on margins is still within the remit of manufacturing CFOs, they are now under pressure to become a business partner in company growth—with a keen eye for both innovation and new profitable ways of working. Whether this is searching out innovative investments or using detailed metrics to track whether they’re working, the future CFO certainly has a heavy remit and an important front-line leadership role.