The Ledger

A digital finance blog

The Ledger

Posted by Sarah Werner

Deloitte 2016 Technology Trends: CFO focus areas

Reimagining Core Systems

Deloitte definition: Revitalize legacy systems, modernizing the core for efficiency, scale and to become a foundation for innovation and growth.  May require organizations to replatform, remediate, revitalize, replace or retrench.

Our perspective: Today's business climate requires a view of detailed data, near real-time analysis, automation and transparency - all supporting a more strategic CFO function.  However, for many organizations, the existing finance IT architecture does not support these objectives.  This needs to be addressed as a part of the strategic agenda.  While modernizing core systems may involve one or a combination of the approaches outlined by Deloitte, it is important that finance and IT collaborate to make sure any system or process changes actually help the business achieve its objectives.

Autonomic Platforms

Deloitte definition: Autonomic platforms, by combining virtualization, automation and machine learning, allow IT to "build once, deploy anywhere" and move towards labor-less IT.

Our perspective:  Deloitte came at this idea from two angles - the first is modernizing the infrastructure stack through consolidation, optimization and re-platforming for cost savings that enable investments in innovative technologies.  As outlined in the section above, we see this work as critical to making sure your finance architecture is working for you and not the other way around. The second aspect of Autonomic Platforms is moving beyond IT automation and continuing toward the automation of business ops and processes. We believe this is where finance can truly add strategic value.  By automating some of the routine, day-to-day tasks and ensuring finance teams are not spending valuable time gathering and validating data, they can better serve as strategic stewards of the business.

Industrialized Analytics

Deloitte definition: As data is recognized as an organization's most valuable asset, investments are shifting from one-off initiatives to systemic platforms and building core disciplines.

Our perspective: The importance of data and analytics have been at the forefront of discussions for several years now.  However, before that fancy visualization tool or algorithm can work, companies need to invest in the creation of data store that is both reconciled and represents the complete data of the organization - not just a single silo or department. Having this central data hub also positions an organization for future regulatory or reporting needs.  We completely agree with Deloitte's perspective that an organization wins when it systematically integrates analytics into key business processes.

Blockchain: Democratized Trust

Deloitte definition: Blockchain is rewriting traditional notions of transactions, contracts, and assets; where the web was the internet of communication, blockchain is the internet of trust.

Our perspective: Blockchain is a new technology with yet to be determined applications. However, with the ongoing focus on seamless collaboration as well as data and transaction security, it's not surprising that this is capturing the attention of Deloitte and other forward-thinking organizations. While today's companies are focused on establishing strong workflow controls and security through more traditional means, it will be fascinating to see what role blockchain plays in the future.

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