What CFOs Need to Know: Getting the Most out of Your Technology Investment
A company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has the challenging responsibility of managing the organization’s financial operations and strategy. A CFO is involved with how the company invests capital and manages its financial resources to achieve its long-term business objectives. It’s a difficult job that requires a CFO to consider all aspects of an organization when prioritizing items and developing a budget.
Technology is the foundation of modern businesses. Companies regularly make significant investments in technological solutions they believe will further their goals. The question CFOs need to ask themselves is are they making the right decisions and spending financial resources on technology that will benefit the company.
This article offers some tips that CFOs should consider when investing in technology to assure they get the most from the investment.
How to Maximize Your Technology Investment
A virtually limitless number of technological solutions are available to modern organizations. Successful CFOs do not simply throw money at inefficient company procedures or processes. They also don’t jump headlong into new solutions that may not address the specific concerns of their business.
The following tips and tactics can help CFOs decide on the most attractive technologies in which to invest the company’s money.
Accept that technology is an essential ingredient for success
Perceptive CFOs understand that they cannot stand still and rely on traditional methods to maintain and grow a business. Advancements in many technological fields are disrupting business and industry across all market sectors. Examples of technologies that have dramatically changed the business landscape include:
- Cloud computing with its promise of flexibility and scalability;
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning that promotes advanced analytics and automation;
- Big data processing that can furnish insight into customer behavior and uncover exploitable trends;
- Edge computing that puts processing power at endpoints where it is most needed.
CFOs need to be willing to change the way a company operates when viable technological solutions can improve the business.
Start with a well-developed plan for digital transformation
Determine how the company plans to use digital tools to deliver value and enact change throughout the organization. A digital transformation strategy that approaches the task with clear goals has a great chance of being successful.
Select goals that promote growth and address the concerns of internal and external users. A simple example is developing a cloud presence to facilitate remote access to data resources for employees and prospective customers.
Adopt technology that provides a competitive edge
CFOs need to look at how technology can provide a competitive edge over business rivals. Rather than just maintaining and growing the business, the wise use of technology enables a company to out-perform the competition and become the market leader.
Stress the importance of technology and continuous improvement
Everyone in the organization needs to understand the importance of the technological solutions being adopted. There may be reluctance on the part of some employees who resist changing their traditional methods and processes.
A CFO should champion the use of technology to promote a business culture that prizes continuous improvement across all departments. Initial investments in technology can be augmented when additional opportunities are presented in a quest to optimize operations.
Build flexibility into technological solutions
Flexibility needs to be a key factor when considering technology investments. A company’s current needs and projected requirements should be considered when choosing solutions. Making the wrong decision can be expensive and hinder an organization’s ability to adapt to changing market conditions.
An illustrative example can be seen with a company that needs to increase its digital storage capacity to address big data processing requirements. They can choose to purchase additional on-premises hardware to meet these needs or opt for a cloud-based storage solution. Going with the cloud provides flexibility if more or less storage is needed in the future.
Provide valuable training opportunities
Employees who are well-trained in the technology they use to do their jobs will be more productive and more accepting of the culture of continuous improvement. Prospective users should have access to education before new systems or applications are introduced to the environment.
Providing training opportunities fosters a sense of self-worth as employees see that they are worth the extra investment. While perhaps not the main concern of a CFO, a happy and knowledgeable workforce will make their job easier while allowing the company to flourish.
Choose the right technology
The sheer volume of technological solutions available to modern businesses is daunting. Multiple options exist for every requirement or problem a company faces. It is imperative to choose the correct solution to attain the full benefits of technology, but this can be a difficult task for any IT team.
The need for remote access to serve mobile employees provides a good example of the need to select a solution carefully. Some solutions may appear attractive at first, but fail to meet a company’s needs. The tool chosen should support all mobile devices in use and protect sensitive data when transmitted over public networks. Failure to do so will limit its usefulness and your employees’ productivity.
Engaging an Experienced Partner to Determine the Right Solutions
CFOs are necessarily concerned that they are making the appropriate investments in technology to further their company’s goals. Enlightened leaders in every market sector know the value of engaging an experienced partner to navigate the complexities of the modern business environment. This fact is especially true when attempting to obtain the maximum value from technology investments.
Prescient Solutions brings a wealth of experience to the table and a track record of helping companies maximize their technology investments. They can help you successfully address improving or modernizing all aspects of your IT environment and help you understand the best solutions for your unique business situation.
Begin with an expert assessment in which Prescient will identify areas of your business that will benefit from technology investment. From that point, they can help you implement and manage your selections to ensure they are performing as expected. Working with Prescient will help any CFO get the most out of their company’s technology investment.