Financial cloud applications specialist, Workday (NASDAQ:WDAY), published the results of its latest survey regarding the state of digital financial transformation.
The survey included 1,060 folks in finance and IT and conducted by Longitude, a Financial Times company, between March and April 2022. The survey discovered a positive correlation between the digital finance transformation progress and the alignment level of the finance and IT departments. It revealed only 44 per cent of the people in the survey were completely confident in the integrity and use value of their data.
“Data is the fuel for finance transformation, yet many organizations still have challenges when it comes to accessing and trusting data. As the role of finance continues to expand, the partnership with IT becomes even more critical. Together, finance and IT must continue to drive the data strategy to deliver the access and insights organizations need to thrive,” said Barbara Larson, CFO of Workday.
Workday provides enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources. Its applications for financial management, human resources, planning, spend management and analytics are in use by today by thousands of organizations of all sizes, including medium sized businesses and more than 50 per cent of the Fortune 500.
This lack of confidence has a direct impact on decision making as 51 per cent of finance leaders state they are forced to make gut instinct decisions on financial matters, despite having access to the required data, because it is siloed, or not formatted correctly, or not widely available.
The survey discovered three barriers to data confidence, each of which are necessary for successful transformation:
Barriers to Building Data Confidence
- Lack of alignment makes finance transformation difficult from the start. Lack of finance-IT alignment was ranked by respondents as the top barrier to digital finance transformation. While 41% of finance leaders admit that their CIO does not have a seat at the table during critical finance meetings, even when technology is essential to solving a challenge, more than half (51%) of IT leaders believe their aim to eliminate IT complexity is directly at odds with the expanding scope of the finance function.
- Challenges with technology hinder finance’s ability to adapt. There is a disconnect between the technology that CIOs and CFOs know they need and what they currently have. Half of the survey respondents believe their legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are not flexible enough for today’s business requirements. While technology transformation needs to balance IT’s goals of simplicity and agility with finance’s expanding scope and complexity, the survey reveals finance and IT agree change is required to meet their evolving needs.
- All agree on a need to increase cross-functional finance and IT skills. For finance leaders, the fact they rely on IT for data access and reporting was ranked as the biggest barrier to generating accurate, usable insights. In turn, IT leaders rank a shortage of skills within the finance team to work with emerging technologies as a top barrier to transformation. Nearly half (49%) of IT leaders feel they are under pressure to innovate finance technology despite limited financial literacy, revealing an opportunity for greater training and partnership with finance.