There can be no doubt that the pace of tech innovation has accelerated, spurring their companies to increase capital spending. Steve Cox, who works with CFOs as Oracle group vice president of ERP (enterprise resource planning) and EPM (enterprise performance management) product marketing, says the following five technology-oriented areas will be critical:
Start Deploying Emerging Technologies. “There will be pre-AI computing and post-AI computing. It is that revolutionary,” Cox says. “Even if you’re not going to be doing anything in particular around AI in the next year, you have got to be planning for it. Your IT strategy has to include it.”
Close Security Gaps. Not a day goes by without a report of a business dealing with a cyber attack or security breach. “Software as a service [SaaS] is simply more secure than on-premises,” Cox says. “On-premises software is static—until you implement the next release or patch. Further, it’s not just the security of the application that you need to worry about.”
Enable Better Insights. The average business is doubling the amount of data it manages every year, but it’ll be more like 50 times more data a year once the Internet of Things starts to take off, Cox says.
Create a Modern Work Environment. CFOs must keep abreast of consumer technology trends, as employees expect the kinds of modern applications and tools they use in their private lives to be available at work.
Be Ready to Shift and Grow. The engine of any company’s business is its financial systems. But if those systems make it difficult to shift gears into new business models or expand into new regions, your company will find itself further and further behind competitors.
“It comes down to having the right IT infrastructure, the right people and skill sets, access to the right data, the right culture, and the right processes in place—all of which can be constraints on the business,” Cox says.