“Every day we have access to more data,” says Marcello Botelho Rodrigues, global controller director for the global mining company Vale, which is headquartered in Brazil. For that reason, he continues, “the information technology has to enable us to transform that data into real information … from making information available on our mobile devices, to having the agility of running on platforms based on in-memory concepts.”
Jennifer Thom, regional finance manager at accounting and consulting services firm BDO USA, notes that these days, “managers expect accurate, real-time information at their fingertips.” That means a change in how finance teams work. “The month-end close looks at history,” she notes, “but [managers] need a look toward the future, or even at the current state – what’s happening right now.”
Digitalization and advanced technology give the finance professional the means to deliver on these new demands. Says Rodrigues, “[The technology capabilities] will allow us to be more predictive, to react faster to the scenario, and better face the uncertainties.” And that’s critical to using today’s information to be prepared for tomorrow’s challenges. “Nowadays, we react and are prepared for a specific risk,” Rodrigues explains. “But that doesn’t mean you are prepared for a new scenario, a new situation, the uncertainties, and how adaptive you are to the changes of the market and the customers.”
In the view of Alejandro Scannapieco, CFO of the Argentina-based software company Globant, “Technology will turn information into a commodity, so an expectation on the finance function is that we’ll spend most of the time providing added value to the business – being more of a strategic partner than a data-gathering function.” By taking full advantage of the capabilities offered by digitalization, the modern finance professional can ensure that he or she is doing the work that provides the highest value to the business.
For detailed study results and more information, download “Thriving in the Digital Economy: The Innovative Finance Function.”