Companies digitalize at a rapid pace, but according to Workday, financial processes often fall by the wayside. The organization’s latest research report suggests that CIOs and CFOs need to collaborate more to achieve goals.

Workday surveyed nearly 500 finance and IT leaders in the EMEA region for a report on the state of digital financial transformation. The latter is a broad term. Workday’s definition of digital financial transformation entails changes in all processes related to finance: transaction processing, finance reporting, analytics, accounting, and so on.

Only 4 percent of respondents said their company follows a ‘robust’ financial transformation strategy. 16 percent said their company has no strategy at all. The EMEA region lags behind North America, where 90 percent of organizations uphold a strategy.

The theme is clearly in its infancy. While more and more organizations adopt general digital transformation strategies, financial transformation often falls by the wayside. According to Workday, strong collaborations between finance and IT departments can make a difference. However, such collaborations are hard to find.

Only 7 percent of Benelux respondents told Workday that their company’s finance and IT departments regularly collaborate. 42 percent said the CIO typically isn’t involved in important finance meetings, even when technology is relevant to the problem at hand.

Room for improvement

The importance of IT has grown rapidly in recent years. Not just for marketing, sales and HR, but for finance as well. Workday indicates that most companies fail to address the change. CFOs continue to be the sole decision-makers for financial matters, while the expertise of CIOs can be just as relevant.

As a result, financial processes aren’t being improved as quickly as they could be. That’s a shame, Workday suggests. The organization asked respondents about what they think needs to be done to improve transformation.

55 percent pointed to a lack of data, noting the difficulty of making accurate financial projections when information is limited or outdated. About half said their company makes important decisions based on gut feeling. According to the respondents, large amounts of data are restricted to silos, stored in incompatible formats or simply unavailable.

“For EMEA’s organisations, a strong finance-IT partnership has never been more
important”, the researchers concluded. “If they can meet the challenge head-on, they will be well-positioned to thrive in the face of ongoing volatility, increasing competition, and evolving market demands.”

“For CIOs and CFOs to rise to the opportunity requires a complete rethink of the data,
technology, and skills used to make financial decisions – the kind of decisions
that generate or preserve value.”

Workday Rising

Workday develops a broad range of software for HR and finance. The organization presented the research report at Workday Rising, an annual conference. Techzine is reporting from Stockholm.