CFOs should lead Digital Transformations

Summary

Consulting firm Accordion argues that Digital Transformation strategies should be led by CFO’s, as they are best positioned to coordinate the efforts of the many disparate business functions necessary for a successful strategy–IT, HR, Marketing, Strategy, Sales. In addition, the CFO office is typically the most skilled in the key factors that drive a successful DT strategy, such as data analysis, risk/reward calculations, Return on Investment (ROI) and other financial metrics. Finally, having the CFO lead the strategy will demonstrate the importance attached to the project to the rest of the organization.

Report

Analysis

In 2020, the key differentiating factor between the best and worst performing corporations was very often whether or not a successful digital transformation strategy was in place. This held across sectors and across geographies. And while the pandemic and associated lockdowns were responsible for the suddenness of the acceleration to digital across business processes and products last year, the trends of recent years were already clearly moving in this direction, as companies ranked highest in cyber governance (which encompasses Digital Transformation) have outperformed the laggards consistently since the end of 2016.

2020 was the year that made it clear that Digital Transformation—and the necessary cyber security investments that need to secure it—is one of the main issues that will determine which companies will be the winners of the future. Therefore, Digital Transformation strategies should clearly be given top priority by BoDs and CEOs and led by executives with the vision, resources and authority to successfully push these transitions through. All key executive functions including the CFO should understand that successfully executing these digital business initiatives—and securing them with effective cyber governance practices—requires prioritized attention from each of them. It cannot be “someone else’s responsibility”.

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