According to a recent survey conducted by Gartner, Inc., digital transformation in the finance function is a primary focus for CFOs in 2024. This survey revealed that enhancing financial metrics, insights, and storytelling, spearheading change management initiatives, and reducing costs also ranked high among priorities, with over 70 percent of CFOs considering them critical to their success.
Marko Horvat, Vice President of Research in the Gartner Finance practice, noted, "The emphasis on transformation efforts corresponds with the growing interest in disruptive technologies like GenAI. This underscores the CFO's role in evaluating and aligning investments in such transformative technologies, both within finance and across the enterprise."
"In 2024, transformation and functional enhancement take center stage among the top 10 priorities," stated Horvat. "Leading change, refining the strategic design and function of the finance team, and spearheading transformation emerge as three of the top five critical priorities."
However, CFOs anticipate significant challenges in modernizing the structure of the finance department, as efficiently integrating new finance technology can disrupt daily operations.
"Establishing technology delivery capacity within finance often necessitates collaboration with external consultants and internal IT teams to progress projects while maintaining current operations," noted Horvat. "As the number and complexity of these projects increase, finding adequate capacity within the finance function becomes increasingly challenging."
Gartner experts recommend that successful transformation endeavors in finance typically require the CFO to actively lead technology delivery efforts, rather than solely engaging with IT departments.
"Many CFOs express dissatisfaction with digital initiatives not meeting expectations," remarked Horvat. "Unless CFOs reassess their approach to leading digital initiatives, these efforts will likely fall short."
Gartner research indicates that digital initiatives with a better chance of realizing intended benefits are those where finance leadership focuses on digital delivery: the creation, implementation, and management of digital systems.
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