Digital transformation needs CFO and CIO alignment, finds Oracle

Cloud handshake

A report by Oracle has revealed the CIO and CFO need to be closer aligned in order to be successful when it comes to digital transformation.

Three quarters of UK-based finance leaders think a closer relationship between the CIO and CFO is crucial to successful transformation of a company's finance department, especially as the division is increasingly making big business-wide decisions. Without an aligned strategy, the entire business will lack competitiveness, the report said.

The reason for this shift is that 40 per cent of finance decision makers have found they are becoming more accountable for the company's success, especially when it comes to making high-level decisions, while 47 per cent of the group said they are under increased pressure to boost productivity and driving business growth.

"Finance systems which have been heavily customised over the years are reaching their breaking point," Loc Le Guisquet, president of Oracle said.

"For the many businesses rethinking their strategies to stay ahead of growing competition, being able to speed up innovation and adapt quickly to change are at the top of the corporate agenda. Finance should not be the ball & chain holding the company back from progress. It should be the engine pushing it forward."

However, the key obstacles in this transformation are that leaders are concerned about the rising cost of such transformation, plus increased competition in the entire marketplace. When it comes to moving to the cloud, 84 per cent think moving to standardised, cloud-based financial applications represents a risk to their business, so are hesitant to do so.

However, customising such applications is important and offers more flexibility, with 72 per cent of respondents saying they understand the benefits of cloud-based financial software. They think having access to these applications is critical to help them realise their broader digital transformation goals.

"Rather than adding complexity to already-overloaded systems, companies are beginning to see the advantage of running their finance applications in the cloud and simply configuring these to suit their needs," Le Guisquet said.

"The digital transformation of a business requires greater levels of collaboration between every department in the organisation, from Marketing to HR. This begins with closer alignment among line-of-business leaders, whose approach to working will ultimately be reflected across the entire company," said Rupert Haines, VP Global Business Finance Operations at Oracle added.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.