Tail Wags Dog: CFOs and Finance Directors must ensure that digitisation does not trump the strategic objectives

It is clear that there has been a seismic shift in working patterns brought on by the pandemic. For example IT Services companies have never been so busy enabling employees to maximise productivity working from home.

However digitisation should not be the outcome, nor should it be considered an end in itself. The temptation to digitise without careful regard to existing customer-centric strategic goals is dangerous. Digitisation must be employed to facilitate the strategy otherwise the tail wags the dog.

Gartner’s report “7 Traits of Highly Successful Digital Leaders” cites that digital is not an outcome but one of the means to an end.

How can the Finance Director / CFO keep the focus on strategy when digitisation is underway?

A steely eye on strategy to ensure that customer needs are not secondary and lost in the excitement of digitisation. Recognising which aspects of digitisation risk leading to woolly strategy is half the battle. Understand that Neophiliacs risk engaging with the new not the effective.

CFOs and Finance Directors must have both the skill set and the gravitas to facilitate debate as to the effects of digitisation and other initiatives on an organisations direction.

Questions to be answered include:

“How does this digital project ensure we meet our strategic objectives?”

“Which features of our strategic goals will be at risk before, during and after this process completes?”

‘The 5D FD’ White Paper underpins the importance of ensuring the CFO is right-skilled and able to foster healthy debate on strategy to support the CEO and fellow directors.

To learn more about ‘The 5D FD’ and how Acuity Associates uses The Acuity Measure to ensure the right skills are present in the CFO email info@acuityassociates.co.uk and request a  call back.

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