With the hype around AI and other technologies still raging, digital transformation remains a top priority for CFOs. But for companies to truly move forward with their digital transformation initiatives, data governance and skills must be a top priority, says Sharon, a consulting partner at Armanino LLP, an accounting and consulting firm that specializes in technology issues. Mr Balal said.
“My focus area for my clients is getting the data right,” she said in an interview. “The ability to use all the new features in AI will actually be bottlenecked by bad data.”
If a company lacks data governance or has cluttered systems (for example, customers and addresses are duplicated), the insights gained from predictive analytics “may not be very valuable,” she said. I was. It’s important to go back to basics and understand data structures, she said, Bhalaru.
“What is your strategy and firm goals? And do you connect the dots to your project goals and what you are trying to achieve with your digital transformation?” she said. “It will be the key to taking it to the next level and being more positive.”
Digital transformation relies on understanding data
CFOs play a key role in driving the company’s digital transformation goals. The CTO and other executives can provide important insights, but ultimately accountability returns to her CFO. said Baral.
Therefore, having a thorough understanding of your data governance strategy is critical for finance executives. Bhalaru gave an example of companies taking steps to become global entities. In this case, she said, companies may be forced to make choices when various sites don’t have “some familiarity with regards to data and data structures.”
“Having a CFO who is a C-level decision maker and able to make global decisions will speed up your digital transformation journey,” she said.
A more holistic understanding of data structures and brushing up on those skills will also help prepare leaders to take advantage of new technologies. For example, exploring the possibilities of AI is becoming a must for companies. This is especially true in the current economic environment.
According to Bhalaru, continued uncertainty means that the “wait and see” approach that leaders have taken to digital transformation is no longer viable. Companies that fail to upgrade their systems in time will be unable to properly leverage new technologies such as AI to weather economic headwinds, she said.
AI can be tied into your ERP system, for example, and combined with your existing platform. Companies use his ERP system to aggregate critical information in one place, and utilize new technologies such as AI to better parse that data and get the critical insights they need to move their business forward. can be found.
“What our executive team and CFO are looking for is to recognize the signal from the noise and understand ‘what do we need to focus on? , or trying to find key performance indicators. It helps you not only make the right decisions, but also puts your business in a positive light, empowers your team, and retains a skilled workforce.
Data skills help retain talent
A focus on data can also help finance executives when it comes to talent retention. Upskilling existing employees in these key areas is to save companies money and enable them to advance their digital transformation initiatives.
“What we are also working on [on] Many of our clients help teach how to enable their employees to acquire new skills,” said Bhalaru.
The latest Labor Department data show that job growth may be slowing — the job-to-applicants ratio dropped to 9.9 million at the end of February and hiring numbers remained relatively unchanged — Optimization remains high on the CFO’s list of priorities. , headcount and compensation have emerged as two major spaces where finance leaders may look to cut costs.
A recent study by Grant Thornton found that 42% of finance leaders emphasized these two areas as ways to cut costs, and the number of CFOs unsure of their ability to meet workforce needs It has plummeted to a record low of seven. %.
Upskilling existing employees not only means companies don’t have to hire new employees, but it also helps with employee retention, especially as the workplace demographic continues to change. said Bhalaru.
“More and more millennials and Gen Z want to be able to learn and grow in a company. If they don’t get it, they are willing to leave and go to another company,” she said. Told. “So by investing in their training, we also get a more sticky workforce. A workforce that is willing to continue to invest in the business.”