A research study by MHR Analytics has discovered finance teams want to have greater control of their own digital and data futures instead of being run by external consultants.
According to MHR, this desire to bolster digital literacy comes as the pandemic has underlined the need for finance to be able to respond more rapidly in a crisis to reduce business risk and take opportunities when they arise.
The study found that 85% of respondents to the research were keen to drive digital transformation and data literacy in their own departments to aid them in successfully navigating change in the company. Meanwhile, just over a quarter of those surveyed admitted they wouldn’t be able to respond quickly enough to a significant event.
Processes such as planning, budgeting, accounts receivable and forecasting were found to be impacted most by the pandemic for almost three quarters (70%) of respondents. This, MHR claims, shines a light on the need for agility and resilience when faced with a tough business environment.
The study also found that strategic insight and productivity levels were hindrances when it came to embracing digital change. Issues such as reporting delays, data accuracy issues and not being able to retain and attract new talent were named as problems that will continue to cause issues for finance if it is unable to adapt to new times and technologies.
Technologies that were found to be most widely adopted by finance to help them bolster visibility on costs and business performance involved tools to support extended planning and analytics strategies and business intelligence and analytics software.
MHR CSO Nick Felton said, “The finance team has often been accused of lagging behind other business functions when it comes to digital transformation and identifying and quantifying the business case for change is no easy task. However, as our research shows, finance has acknowledged that standing still really isn’t an option.
“These research findings highlight finance’s ambition to own its own digital change and finance systems, including data analytics. Finance is best placed to lead the charge for transforming slow and laborious processes, as the events of the past 18 months have shown the importance of being able to make quick decisions, based on the availability of real-time and accurate data.”
Felton added that adopting a digital first approach and learning new data and tools skills ‘all takes time’ but that it was refreshing to see that finance is keen to progress change themselves, without relying on the support of IT or external third parties.
He concluded, “It’s crucial that finance continues to progress its adoption of digital technologies and ensure its leveraging the full functionality of the tools it already uses, to achieve better business insights and to help the case for wider transformative technology adoption in the future.”
Copyright © 2021 FinTech Global