CFOs and digitalisation, how can they complement one another?

The prosperity of companies largely acts as a thermometer as to the success of a country’s economy and the wider development of society as a whole. Obviously, it’s not the only defining factor, but does carry significant weight.

As a result of this close connection, the way in which companies are organised, operate, behave and relate to their environments has seen significant changes over a very short period of time.

If the industrial revolution was the first great catalyst for these changes, digitalisation and its links with technological innovation is certainly the second, and where we find ourselves today, generating far more accelerated, profound and interdependent paradigm shifts than those ever experienced in history.

Many positions of corporate responsibility have seen their focus, sphere of influence and roles shifted due to digitalisation processes, within strategic areas of importance for companies, in particular. The role of the CFO, or Chief Financial Officer, is one of the essential present and future building blocks that has seen its scope altered significantly due to corporate digitalisation.


Finance and digitalisation: where the boundaries are blurred and responsibility is on the rise


Thanks to the digitalisation process, its associated tools and – above all – the information that can now be accessed, managed and used with a strategic vision within the technological transition, CFOs have seen their roles changed dramatically.

Departmental limits, figures and quotes have long been abandoned in favour of adopting a more comprehensive role within organisations, enabling and favouring synergies between business units that, until recently, seemed to live in separate universes entirely. But what is this all about?


  • CFOs now have a more comprehensive and holistic view of the processes that affect both their department and the company as a whole. This helps them analyse deficiencies and promote more useful and relevant levers of transformation. Whether they’re about digitalisation or not. CFOs are catalysts for sensitive but necessary changes.
  • They handle useful, fast and reliable information. Finance directors are constantly dealing with information and data of vital importance for the economic survival of their organisation, as well as for finding windows of opportunity and new business niches. Digitalisation has made it possible for this data to be obtained practically in real time, safely and with authentic quality – or strategic weight, given its reliability –, which represents an enormous source of added value for companies Alongside a much more active and transversal role for CFOs.
  • A mentality twinned with digitalisation. The mindset of any finance director must involve a capacity for analysis, openness and agility in the face of unexpected changes, curiosity, adaptability, ambition…

All of these, when analysed closely, are closely related to the spirit that sustains all the technological advances we’ve seen throughout history. CFOs are especially sensitive to the positive impact digitalisation can have within their organisations. And, precisely because of this, they’re not only catalysts, but also prescribers and mentors in this process for the rest of their colleagues.



The contribution of finance departments to businesses in the digitalisation environment


Taking all of the above into account, finance departments and CFOs can make vital contributions to companies nowadays, facilitating a perception of the finance unit as an essential partner within organisations, designing new strategies, adapting to new needs, offering support in decision-making with relevant information. Finally, they help identify initiatives and opportunities that encourage their company’s development with an eye on the future, as well as helping with implementation and start-up.

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