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Correlating the impact the CIO or CTO can have on achieving an Intelligent Enterprise-level operation is not hard to achieve. Given that these roles have innovation and technology in their names, It’s clear to see how they go together. When it comes to finance though, many raise eyebrows in astonishment that the role of the Chief Financial Officer is being used in the same sentence as a technology-based approach. Taking a closer look, it’s actually a no-brainer how the role of a CFO can set an SME on its course to Intelligent Enterprise status, or if neglected, can completely derail the initiative’s reach. 

 

Finance: the hidden trump card

Finance is often an overlooked department when it comes to innovative hubs within a business. There are so many departments that rely on communication with other areas of the business, but no other more so than finance. Budget allocations, analyses, forecasting, and more, finance fosters the growth of every department and does so much work behind the scenes that it’s easy to understand why it’s often forgotten about when looking for innovative fronts of the business. Let’s see how the finance leadership can have an effect on a company’s trajectory towards an Intelligent Enterprise operation.

  1. Translating data into swift and decisive action: finance leaders have access to the data of the business in real time, and should constantly be looking for changes in demand, trends in the economy, and any substantial gaps that could be black holes for money. The key with information is knowing how to interpret it and put it to use for making decisions. Finance leaders that use software with analytical insight properties can substantially improve processes and performance, and ensure the business is going in the desired direction. A CFO with the company’s results in hand, results reported using predictive analytics and technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence, can completely change the game for their company. 
  2. Making effective use of big data: big data can be a huge burden due to storage requirements, management fees, and the fact that every day there are more and more bytes of data created worldwide. What’s the point of having terabytes of data if you don’t extract the right information from it to make the right decision for your next steps? Investing company funds is one of the many ways in which a CFO can enhance the status and success of the company, and the best way to decide where to do so in a safe way is by leveraging the available data to its fullest extent through thorough analysis and reporting. A savvy CFO will also invest in the right system that pays for itself through the savings it yields from the use of its capabilities. The ability to have a one-stop-shop with all the tools to process the data within one system ensures huge savings, as well as increased planning accuracy.  
  3. Instantaneous access to comprehensive financial and performance data: one of the best ways a finance leader can better serve their company through innovation is by ensuring that the business is leveraging tools that are conducive to system integration. If all the departments have standardized systems that are all housed under one roof, all of the operations can be done in a swift manner. This ensures efficiency and effectiveness when reporting, a decrease in silos, and an overall better communication between departments. With existing business management platforms that bring together finance, accounting, purchasing, sales, CRM, inventory and project management among others, this is not only a feature that would be nice to have, but an essential part of being an intelligent enterprise. The direct result of this is that all relevant team members can access all the information they need any time, from anywhere and with very minimal effort.

 

Technophobes cannot compete

What is the best news for finance leaders right now? They don’t have to do all the work themselves. In fact, the hottest trend in finance processes at the moment is automation. When companies have their employees completing a lot of repetitive tasks, it becomes a moral vacuum where talents and skillsets that could be much more productive in other areas are wasted. By innovating and undergoing a digital transformation, businesses can leverage the power of automation by letting the machines do all the rule-based tasks on their own (at a hybrid level with minimal need for human input beyond the algorithms). They’re able to manage their human capital in a smarter way that helps the team to focus on things that computers can’t do, ultimately resulting in a higher sense of purpose and job fulfillment for everyone involved. 

CFOs that are still dealing with outdated systems that are not integrated will miss out on analyses and the latest technologies available. They are simply not going to push their businesses in the right direction, it’s a simple case of “the blind leading the blind.” CFOs, regardless of industry, must be able to determine what products or services are performing the best in order to improve and increase the offering, and halt any line item that is not yielding profitable margins for the company. 

By way of technology, the modern financial leader is a gateway to unlocking the full power of the intelligent enterprise for the business. CFOs are charged with the enormous responsibility of steadily tracking results and making the right changes or doubling down on certain initiatives when needed, and they can’t do their jobs if they don’t have the best technology available that provides all the insights in real time. At Sapphire Systems we’ve seen the difference that the right software solution can do for companies, and we are ready to help ensure that all leaders are equipped with the right tools to take their businesses to the next level. If you’d like to see what it would look like to have a holistic view of the business and allow your company to thrive and excel sustainably for years to come, contact us. Our team of experts can show you how to make the most out of your investment and see it return on itself many times over. 
 





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