The age of the CFTO.

Author:Torre, Karen dela
Position:STRATEGY - Chief Financial and Technology Officer

Emerging technologies have already begun to make a significant impression on modern finance. Companies across Europe are investing more heavily than ever in big data analytics, the cloud, mobile and other IT resources that are quickly proving indispensable if they wish to succeed in today's fast-evolving world.

As companies continue to master these technologies and benefit from significant returns, their IT investments will inevitably begin to factor more seriously into their financial planning efforts.

The role of the CFO has evolved in response to this shift. Financial executives have added to their traditional expertise in record-keeping and compliance to become chief strategic partners and, in many cases, trusted technology advisors to the CEO.

A recent campaign from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) underscores this development, highlighting the evolving role of the CFO with a new title, the Chief Financial and Technology Officer (CFTO).

That being said, while modern CFOs have become technology evangelists within their organizations, a gap remains between their ambitions and reality when it comes to emerging technologies. With modern finance's mandate evolving more quickly than many data analysis infrastructures can adapt, the time has come for financial departments to develop a deeper and broader range of skills to help solidify their increasingly vital role.

This will require forward-thinking CFOs to spearhead the use of sophisticated analytics technologies, modern applications, and the latest social, mobile, cloud and collaboration tools to help bring their businesses' visions to life. The cloud, in particular, has become an attractive resource for financial executives looking to put leading technologies at the heart of their operations.

The Technology Evangelist

The advent of big data analytics has brought back-office insight to the forefront of business strategy. As a result, CFOs are becoming key drivers for the adoption of emerging technologies to promote the development of new capabilities for their businesses. This adaptation in their role has seen them take on the responsibilities of "chief strategic technology advisors" in their organizations, in addition to their traditional finance and complianc functions.

According to a recent global study conducted by Oracle and Accenture, 68 percent of finance and non-finance executives across EMEA agree the CFO...

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