The new Triple A

The case for change is clear. We must embrace and lead the new Triple A capability of data analytics, automation, and business agility.

I founded GENCFO to make the case for change and why we must embrace the Triple A of analytics, automation and agility to stay competitive. 

In my opinion, an organisation that embraces the Triple A capability is set for high performance and sustainable growth. 

Did you know that data-driven companies are six times more likely to be profitable year-over-year than those that are not?

Yes, the Triple A status is a nod to the credit ratings agencies, and that is no coincidence. The Triple A matters.

That is why I am challenging all CFOs and their leadership to make change by making a Triple A commitment to their companies and teams.

Case for change and Digital First Leadership

In today's data-driven business landscape, we must stay ahead of the curve to ensure the success of our companies. We must be proactive, adaptive, and always looking for new opportunities to optimise our operations, reduce costs, and drive growth. 

Digital transformation leadership is no longer an option but a necessity for businesses looking to remain competitive. It has become clear that businesses that invest in digital transformation are reaping significant rewards. 

According to a report by Accenture, “Companies that invest in digital transformation leadership can expect a 9% increase in revenue growth, a 26% increase in profitability, and a 12% increase in market valuation.”

As CFOs and finance directors, we have been given the clear mandate to make change, and we can benefit greatly from digital transformation by optimising financial processes, reducing costs, and improving overall business performance. 

However, we must not forget that digital transformation is not just about technology; it's about outcomes, people and process and changing the way we do business, from the ground up.

A1: Analytics

Data analytics has become a crucial tool for businesses to gain insights into their operations, customers, and markets. 

According to a report by Forbes, “Data-driven companies are six times more likely to be profitable year-over-year than companies that are not data-driven.”

As CFOs and finance directors, we must leverage data analytics to make informed financial decisions, improve financial performance, and mitigate risks. 

And again, we must also recognise that data analytics is not just about technology; it's about new skills, new talent, new ways of working, new outcomes.

A2: Automation

Automation has become a game-changer for businesses looking to optimise their operations and improve declining productivity. We must embrace automation to streamline processes, increase efficiency, and drive growth. 

According to a study by McKinsey & Company, “Businesses that automate their operations can achieve productivity gains of up to 30%.”

Therefore we can not ignore this opportunity, and we must leverage automation to improve overall business performance. 

Yes, we must also recognise that automation will displace roles and jobs, but as leaders we must work together with our teams to ensure that we re-skill and up-skill our workforce for the jobs of the future.  

Our core competencies in accounting and finance and our roles as controllers and analysts provide a perfect skills mix for our teams to both adapt and thrive.

A3: Agility

Business agility has become a key strategy for businesses to respond to changing market conditions, increase flexibility, and drive growth. During the pandemic of 2021 and 2022, many CFO organisations were exposed to poor agility.

According to a report by KPMG, "Agile businesses can respond to changing market conditions up to 90% faster than their less agile competitors."  Therefore we must embrace business agility to improve financial performance, forecasting trends, and mitigating risks. 

But we must also recognise that business agility requires a cultural shift, and leadership must create an environment that fosters innovation, collaboration, and continuous improvement.

The Shift

The benefits of data analytics, digital transformation, automation, and business agility are not just theoretical; they are being realised by businesses around the world. 

We bring these stories to life with our feature, The Shift (link), and aim to share leaders' stories and real-world examples of change. 

One real-world example is our Digital Finance Function Awards winner, Claire Osmunden-Little of NHS Digital Health and Care Wales (read her interview for The Shift here), when they moved away from a waterfall-based capital environment with long-term and multi-year activities, to a revenue-based agile model where, “although there was a level of risk, there’s a lot of opportunity”.

Another is the case of Genpact, a global professional services firm. Genpact implemented RPA (Robotic Process Automation) to automate their finance processes, resulting in a 60% reduction in manual processing time and significant cost savings.

Lastly, the case of Zara, a global fashion retailer, implemented a fast-fashion business model that allowed them to respond quickly to changing fashion trends, resulting in increased sales and growth.

Conclusion

The case for change is clear. We must embrace and lead the new Triple A capability of data analytics, automation, and business agility.

And that is why we have created a series of masterminds on the above to support our Exec Members in making this change.  Not as individuals, but as a cohort, focused on peer learning, and peer support.

Our Masterminds are a perfect blend of brainstorming, education, peer accountability and support focused on leadership and technology. Your very own Triple A Peer Advisory Board! Learn all about them here.

Author

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Christopher Argent, Founder, GENCFO
GENCFO Team

Chris is the founder and MD of GenerationCFO.com and creator of the Digital Finance Function Model and a contributor to many articles on our platform. Chris focuses on the shift toward digital transformation in accounting and finance, shows you what good looks like, then helps to get you there!

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