The Digitally Transformed Boardroom – Helping CFOs Take The Lead, Anytime, Anywhere

Thack Brown

Thanks to technology, innovation is quickly catching up to imagination. And CFOs are poised to enjoy the benefits in a big way. Take digitally transformed boardrooms, for example. Just a few years ago, that technology was considered grist for sci-fi. Now it’s here to stay and transporting CFOs to the next level of strategic corporate leadership.

What is Live Business in the boardroom, and how does it work?

Digitalization is at the heart of Live Business in the boardroom. It allows CFOs to bring real-time data, detailed visualizations, and predictive analytics to corporate boards without the need for everyone – or anyone – to be in the same room. It eliminates pockets of cobbled-together information and substitutes the big picture as it really is right now.

Quickly and easily, PowerPoint decks and spreadsheets are replaced with live and immediate information to support financial decisions based on accurate, strategic information.

Digitally transformed boardrooms address areas high on the CFO wish list

In a series of video interviews at SAPPHIRE NOW, we heard thoughts from finance transformation executives from three global strategic partners on the concept as they attended a live demo to see what a digitized boardroom might look like.

These include:

  1. Instant data-driven insights. The digitalized boardroom allows CFOs to answer ad hoc questions on the fly, to identify business risks and opportunities in real time, and to simulate the impact of potential. Renee Ford, a managing director with Accenture, believes a digital boardroom approach provides CFOs with unprecedented leverage: “Live business really changes the way the CFO and the whole business operate. Just imagine being in the boardroom and answering questions in real time.” See Renee’s video interview on YouTube.
  1. Total transparency. With a digital platform, the CFO, the board, and the management team get a complete picture of the company situation in real time – insights that are in context and geared to the audience – and can make decisions aligned to one source of truth. Capgemini practice lead Sean Moore sees a wide range of advantages to a digital boardroom platform: “It brings analytics into a nontraditional environment. It provides insights across a broad platform of business and data … and blurs the lines between the two.” See Sean’s video interview (with Juan Carlos Martinez) on YouTube.
  1. Simplified boardroom processes. Digital boardroom technology helps CFOs enhance the boardroom experience for everyone involved, in person or remotely; reduce the preparation time required for presentations; and leverage best practices for maximum meeting results. Juan Carlos Martinez, a director at Capgemini, sees the digital boardroom experience, with its ease of use and ease of viewing, as a major ally in helping corporate leadership answer the question: “How can I make a decision with the numbers changing constantly?” He added, “If the numbers are changing fast, then you have to react fast.” See Juan Carlos’ video interview (with Sean Moore) on YouTube.
  1. Future predictions. In terms of filling present and future needs for CFOs, their boards, and their top management teams, EY partner Ingmar Christiaens sums up the digital boardroom this way: “Current CFOs are moving away from looking backward at reports to looking forward to predictive analytics. It is an era in which everything moves at the speed of light. The digital boardroom gives you all the information you need at your fingertips. You are not bound to a physical boardroom.” See Ingmar’s video interview on YouTube.

To learn more about how a digitalized boardroom can power up CFO contributions to strategic decision making, check out:

 


Thack Brown

About Thack Brown

Thack Brown is General Manager and Global Head for SAP’s Line of Business Finance. In this capacity, he is responsible for the full suite of SAP solutions for the Office of the CFO. SAP has the market’s most robust portfolio of solutions for finance professionals, covering all the major financial process, including: Financial Planning and Analysis, Managerial and Statutory Accounting, Treasury, Risk and Compliance and core finance operations such as Shared Services, Real Estate, Travel and Expense Reimbursement, Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable, etc.