The 2014 CFO Sentiment Survey was published today by the CFO Alliance. It is always interesting to read these surveys and find out what is on the mind of executives. There were a couple of bullet points that caught my attention.
The 2014 CFO Sentiment Survey reports that “82% of CFOs list implementation of new technology and Data Security as high importance when characterizing their top operational challenges in 2014.”
In almost every discussion with the CFOs that I work with, CFOs are highly cautious about the risks of adopting new technology. Their cautious approach can heavily influences their peers in reluctantly adopting innovative technologies that can dramatically improve their business. Several transformational technologies have emerged in the past few years via cloud technology that need to be looked at.
Why? Very few CFOs are evaluating these perceived risks through the lenses of the more modern cloud technologies. The paradigm has dramatically shifted when a company adopts a true cloud technology. Implementations are much faster than typical in-house application projects. Integration between the cloud technology and their current ERP technology can be significantly less complicated. The dependence on internal IT to drive the implementation and integration can be dramatically lessened because the IT complexity of many cloud technologies is much smaller.
When implementation are measured in days, not months…a paradigm shift has occurred!
This takes me to the second interesting observation. The survey found that:
A total of “65% of the respondents identified finding and retaining the right talent as an area where they would spend more and realize a high ROI…impacting 2014 results.”
One of the big frustrations for employees is that their technology at the office is not as easy to work with as the technology that they use at home. Employees are very tech savvy with anything that is web-based. Shopping and buying things on Amazon.com or other online retail sites has become the primary means of shopping at Christmas! So if CFOs can adopt cloud technologies that place “easy to use” software at the fingertips of their employees, they will dramatically increase employee satisfaction. High user adoption should be a critical measure for all CFOs when they evaluate a software selection. SaaS technologies like “Intacct” and “Coupa” have been consistently rated as leaders in their space primarily because they are so easy to use.
So when you consider investing this year in your operation, rethink your strategy. By adopting cloud technology for your business, you will obtain outstanding ROI and paybacks through their business efficiency, but you will also de-risk your investment by providing your employees a technology that will achieve very high user adoption.