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Industries of all sizes and types are undergoing a period of financial transformation and reinvention.

Fuelled by data, technology and billions of online transactions between companies, individuals, devices and processes. New technologies like 3D printing, electric cars and companies like Airbnb have revolutionised supply chains and whole sectors.

Today’s B2B worlds are expected to reflect our everyday B2C experiences. With the first Millennials about to hit 40, it’s a world many have grown up in, and as consumers, is what they expect.

Success in this environment means being flexible and open to change.

Executive teams need to get the most from the digitally connected economy, and increasingly, the CFO is sitting at the heart of that digital strategy.

Data First, Then Financial Transformation

In a global fast-paced business environment, the bedrock of a digitally powerful organisation and of financial transformation, is data.

The ever-expanding connections between our systems, internal customers and our buyers and suppliers creates an endless river of it.

Organisations that now accurately monitor and create clean data and then capture what they need, are going to be best placed for success. And that’s where using the right technology comes in.

For 100% visibility and control and to get the outcomes you require, the data needs to be captured centrally into the Procure-to-Pay system.

To do that, you need to be able to get all your invoices into it and to encourage 100% adoption. For digital and financial transformation to succeed, high quality data capture is vital.

Business Partnering and Digital Collaboration

Departments that were once very separate are becoming increasingly connected. Connected through process and connected through technology.

Because finance functions sit at the core of their enterprise, CFOs need to ensure that they are highly integrated.

This landscape also has implications for career advancement. If you want to stay ahead, it’s no longer enough to rely on your knowledge of your core area.

Soft skills such as emotional intelligence, empathy and strategic thinking are equally important.

This is something that is only going to increase with the advance of technologies like artificial intelligence.

Corporate Social Responsibility and Finance Transformation Initiatives

A company’s ethics are becoming critical differentiators in the global market.

As organisations seek to strengthen their social value, they are building capital on traits like fairness, honesty, sustainability, and community. But it’s a cultural change that organisations need to build into their teams and to filter that down their supply chain.

With environmental and climate activists on the streets of several countries of the world, being sustainable isn’t just the ethically correct thing to do, increasingly it’s brand savvy too.

Being digital first, with intelligent use of automation and connected IOT, means that you’ll be best placed for trend analysis and be able to predict possible disruption and be able to do something about it.

The Future's in the Cloud

If the bedrock of future success and insight lies in a company’s data, its visibility and accessibility lies in how that data is stored.

And the future is in the Cloud.

The shift over the last 8 – 5 years has been ever more cloud based, and most organisations expect that trend to continue, with more than 70% of organisations expecting to be fully in the cloud over the next 3 years.

As our world becomes less certain, it makes sense to control what you can. Adding end to end automation to your processes is certainly one way to do that. Remember, that for financial transformation to succeed, focusing on the quality and volume of the data you capture is key.