Content thumbnail Partnering for Performance Part 5

Driving and enabling the shift to digital In developing a strategy that is fit for a digital world, the CEO and CFO will QIAGEN: data bytes are transforming health care need to evaluate a range of new risks and opportunities for the organization. Roland Sackers, CFO and Managing Director, QIAGEN, a leading global As a result, they are likely to be faced with decisions about whether to biotechnology player, says that interpretation of data is critical in health direct resources away from viable business offerings or units, because the care today. opportunity cost of not doing so is too great. “The challenge of the past 20 years was generating data; the challenge For example, it could involve shifting resources from a business unit that of tomorrow is interpreting the data,” he explains. “This is changing is profitable but under long-term threat from digital disruption, allowing the treatment of patients. If you’re a cancer patient today, doctors are the organization to channel investment to a business line that has more focused on interpreting your tumor data to help decide which kind of sustainable long-term prospects. CFOs play a critical role in deciding which treatment you should receive.” activities will best support the organization’s strategy, and how resources can be diverted and allocated to deliver it. Digital priorities for the CFO and CEO 2. Use data analytics to anticipate digital disruption, measure performance and respond quickly 1. Develop a business strategy that is fit for a digital world, For Buchanan, the pace of digital disruption can leave organizations struggling and make the disruptive investment calls required to react. Digital is rewriting the rules of competition and blurring traditional sector “The challenge is the speed at which change can happen,” he explains. “Take boundaries. It is therefore critical that organizations have a strategy that is Airbnb and Hilton. It only took Airbnb four years to build up a larger inventory fit for a digital world, and responds to the new competitive realities. This will of hotel rooms than Hilton Hotels built up in almost a century.” include developing and managing a portfolio of digital investments with a variety of profiles, from quick wins to strategic bets. The CFO plays an important role in gathering and analyzing the data — including “Every company in the world is going to use digital to support their strategy in from marketing and sales — that will provide an early-warning indicator of any some way,” explains Channing Flynn, Global Technology Industry Tax Leader, disruptive threats and opportunities that lie around the corner. This will allow EY. “Companies are becoming increasingly reliant on knowledge to drive their the organization and its CEO to develop a strategic response and consider pre- business and technologies to improve their bottom line. Everybody is going to emptive changes to its business model before the challenger achieves scale. have to adopt digital within their core economic business model.” Partnering for performance Part 5: the CFO and the chief executive officer 14

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