Content thumbnail Is the Future of Finance New Technology or New People?

)1 LgegjjgoËkgh]jYlaf_eg\]dafY[lagf Imagine the leader of a business unit needs to understand Using AI tools, a data scientist in the financial analytics why demand for a once-market-leading product is steadily center of excellence would analyze this massive data set to falling. In the future finance function, the business unit identify trends and use visualization tools to model different leader would speak to their finance business partner, who scenarios. The business unit’s finance partner would go would ask the data factory to pull together internal data on through the scenarios with the unit’s leadership and the product line, but also combine it with external data on marketing team and help begin the work to develop wider market movements in the product segment and on possible solutions. competitor moves. 9da_faf_h]ghd]eYfY_]e]floal`l`]f]o For this operating model to work effectively, CFOs will need to gh]jYlaf_eg\]d put the right people management approach in place for each Driving value from new structures will have significant people constituency, including: implications. In the future model, there will be people whose • Skills profile main focus is on running the business, and others who are • Ongoing education and training, including exposure to new more concerned with changing the business, driving growth technologies and analytic approaches and business model innovation. For Chris Chen, COO and CFO at Shanghai-headquartered • Career path and development marketing agency DDB Group Greater China, this split has • Performance measurement and rewards framework effectively created two finance teams. “One team, based in For example, the leader of a finance factory will need to have Shanghai, is like a machine, dealing with the daily accounting skills and experience in driving process excellence through lean transactions,” he says. “The other is the commercial side, techniques and state-of-the-art technologies. This is including budgeting and analytics, which creates more value a very different profile from that of an economist in the for the company. That team can really perform well and the forecasting center of excellence, whose skills and experience value is tremendous.” may be in analyzing and modeling changes to the business model, such as the introduction of new digital services and products. To realize the promise of the future operating model, CFOs will need to rethink how they develop, measure and reward people with very different skills, from financial insight to operational management.

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