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Being competitive in today’s world means putting greater emphasis on forward-looking insight and the formation of collaborative partnerships. Many CFOs are making significant strides following this new model – in fact, Accenture recently revealed that 73% are experiencing increased engagement in strategic planning over the last two years. However, it’s still clear that there’s much work left to be done.

More often than not, outdated data is used to make strategic financial decisions. The large volume of structured and unstructured information is overwhelming and sometimes too difficult to decipher. The office of the CFO and the rest of the finance function have no choice but to become more automated and highly efficient – otherwise, they will never be able to guide the company in the right direction.

At a recent SAP gathering of financial executives, Steve Barrett, former CFO of consumer products giants Procter & Gamble and Whirlpool, wisely commented, “It’s no secret that people don’t like to change. However, digital transformation requires excitement and commitment from everyone. What companies need is a burning digital platform that everyone can use and get what they need, when they need it. Prepare for it now and get ready – or you’re going to be toast.”

What exactly is this “burning digital platform?” Some may say predictive analytics, while other think it’s the cloud – and even fewer may state everything from real-time Big Data to process automation.

What’s the real answer? All of them.


SAP Digital Boardroom: The next-generation crystal ball every CFO needs


Historically, CFOs spend months collecting, analyzing, and visualizing data to guide business strategy. And while the end result was a pretty set of PowerPoint slides, very rarely did the executive team really dive into the information and engage in what-if discussion and questioning. In short, they rarely learned anything new about the enterprise, its customers, and the competitive landscape.

Whether it’s signing off on a new sponsorship, finding a resolution to skyrocketing supply chain costs, or assessing why sales are stagnating, every major decision starts with a question. Every CFO knows that sometimes you have to dig deeper and ask even tougher questions to get the whole story and make the right decisions. But, how do you know what those questions are if you don’t even have a clue into the reality of the business?

With a new digital approach, CFOs can provide in-context, simplified, real-time and interactive reports across the enterprise. Built with the power of the cloud and advanced analytics, the SAP Digital Boardroom solution provides a single source of truth about the company’s performance. Just like the digital economy is revolutionizing the market, CFOs can use digital technology to anticipate and navigate change whenever and wherever it happens.

However, true transparency means the elimination of information and process complexity and silos. And this is especially important as all line-of-business decision makers need instant access to analytics just to be on par with competitors. With its nowhere-to-hide transparency, board members, executives, and

decision makers can access a comprehensive, easy-to-consume, real-time view of company performance and market changes. By automating business intelligence, this technology experience dramatically improves the quality and speed of reporting and fosters real-time collaboration.

As companies continue to transform and evolve, the combined power of the cloud, predictive analytics, real-time Big Data, and process automation can deliver the instant, data-driven insights every CFO needs to address ad hoc questions and improve decision making.

Luckily, CFOs don’t need to wait for these capabilities – the boardroom of the future is already here. Connect with me to learn more.