Introducing “The Digital CFO”: In Their Own Words, From Their Own Experiences

Thack Brown

The first in the Digital CFO Series

No one can better convey the opportunities and challenges of converting to a sophisticated high-technology environment than CFOs who have “been there, done that.”

That’s why I am pleased to announce the launch of “The Digital CFO,” a new series in the Digitalist Magazine CFO Knowledge section. In these blog posts, CFOs will share, in their own words, their experiences implementing new technology platforms. Top financial executives from companies in a variety of industries will be writing about how they’ve incorporated digital transformation into the real world of finance – your world ­– and describe both their successes and challenges. You’ll see how your counterparts in other organizations have improved speed and efficiency, eliminated wasteful practices, and avoided or overcome costly mistakes.

Meet our first digital CFO

The series launches August 28 with a post by Ruben Stappers, CFO of Zalora Group, a fashion e-commerce destination focused on Southeast Asia that launched in 2012. In this blog, Steady Leadership Through Transformational Change At ZALORA, Ruben describes how he and his board of directors took action two years ago to transform the business, centralize operations, and streamline the finance organization.

With new technology, finance can now generate reliable data and analysis and has gained the trust of corporate leadership as a result. The bottom-line impact has been significant, with increases in average selling price and product margins and a dramatic drop in EBITDA loss. Ruben explains that beginning the transformation journey was not without bumps in the road – and is ongoing – but that the finance operation is now positioned to support an innovative, sustainable, scalable enterprise.

A new CFO-to-CFO community

We hope to make the series a valuable resource for you and your finance organization. Our goal is to create a community of CFOs who can offer insight and advice to their peers around how they are working differently, changing their finance organizations, and leveraging technology to address the fast-paced demands of a digital economy.

In my work with hundreds of CEOs around the world, I am fortunate to meet top financial executives whose insights can be valuable to fellow CFOs grappling with incorporating technological innovations into their organizations. Our bloggers will be singularly qualified to provide guideposts for CFOs on how to navigate what may seem like difficult and uncharted territory. I hope the facts, figures, and findings our bloggers share will help other financial leaders make the right technology choices, interact more successfully with CIOs, and, when needed, make the business case for technological innovation to their leadership.

I welcome your input on this new feature and on what area of technology you’d like to learn more about. Please feel free to contact me at

Learn how organizations are gaining instant financial insights and using them to make better decisions – both now and in the future. Register now for the 2017 Financial Excellence Forum, Oct. 10-11 in New York City.

Follow SAP Finance online: @SAPFinance (Twitter)  | LinkedIn | FacebookYouTube

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.