Online resource provider Proformative consistently posts informative, insightful, and actionable webinars and talks that are extremely useful for finance professionals everywhere. Ranging from auditing best practices and regulatory tips to management methods and interviewing advice, Proformative is a trusted name in professional guidance.
Today we’ll be discussing an insightful talk given through Proformative titled, “New Corporate Finance Technologies—Changing the Role of Finance.” This webinar discusses how new and emerging technologies are dramatically changing how finance work is completed and tracked in the business world.
The webinar is based primarily around a featured presentation given by Bruce Bendix, a professional at the accounting and advisory firm Baker Tilly. As someone who deals with new technologies and how they relate to finance on a daily basis, Bendix is an effective speaker and expertly covers a wide range of terrain.
The webinar addresses the drastic changes that have come to business, technology, and the economy and the way they’ve affected financial leaders when it comes to “planning, decision making, and driving technology adoption.” Bendix stresses the importance of adopting these changes within your enterprise, including critical technological areas like cloud, mobile, social, data, and analytics.
While these new technologies create new opportunities, they also come with inherent challenges, as organizations strive to adapt effectively and become more efficient. Finance leaders can use new technologies to increase growth and efficiency; the webinar outlines the implications of those new technologies for companies today.
Setting the Framework
Bendix begins his talk by highlighting some of the global factors that are underway that ultimately will affect the way technology impacts businesses all over the world. He highlights four major trends:
Globalized economy— Bendix addresses how the interconnected nature of today’s economy has changed the way companies and entire industries do business, as American enterprise is increasingly affected by what takes place in China and other locations around the world.
Changing competitive landscape— Another factor he outlines is the way that competition is transforming the business landscape. Companies are muscling into new industries and dramatically disrupting them. While this trend began with mainly digital companies, it’s now spread to a more wide range of industries.
Evolving workforce—The current workplace includes several generations of professionals, and they all interact with the world differently. Baby boomers have a different approach to business than millennials, and enterprises must adapt to this new workforce effectively to remain profitable and competitive.
The Fourth Trend: Technology
The trend of emerging technologies is the main focus of the webinar, and Bendix wastes no time drawing a line in the sand regarding whether CFOs and other financial leaders should choose to resist these changes or to embrace them and profit by them. He classifies companies into four main distinctions: 1, companies that fight change by relying on currently in place or proposed regulations meant to halt change; 2, those that resist change through pure denial; 3, those that accept change is inevitable but simply assume they’ll eventually adapt; and 4, those that see changes coming, become proactive about adopting and adapting to those new changes, and transform their companies for the better well before it’s too late.
Enter the Cloud
The main crux of Bendix’s talk centers on the evolution of cloud-based work and how it will transform the future. Comparing it to the shift from steam power to electric power, Bendix discusses how cloud-based computing is going to lead to a seismic shift in the way individuals and organizations work and increase productivity.
For decades and even centuries, work has been location-based. Employees came to their workplace, whether it was a factory or a ship or an office. Work happened “at work,” and then people went home.
While certain industries will always (at least for the foreseeable future) require on-site work due to physical labor required, the idea of an “office job” is not what it once was.
Embracing Mobile Work
One counterintuitive but prevailing thought that’s left over from a vanished era is the idea that if employees aren’t in the office, they’re not being productive. Bendix fights against this idea and strongly argues that the opposite is now true. Freedom from the office allows professionals to be more productive in more places, more often than ever before.
By embracing cloud computing, mobile applications built to increase productivity and other modern technological advances, finance leaders can transform their enterprises to make them more productive than ever. By introducing mobile and cloud-based solutions, like document management software and enterprise content management, Bendix submits that finance leaders can free their employees from archaic norms of productivity and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their organizations to nearly limitless heights, if they’re willing to adopt and adapt.