Jumping the Hurdles: Finance’s Race to a Single Source of Truth

Over the past two years, we’ve surveyed nearly 3,500 CFOs to better understand key issues impacting their roles and their views on technologies, process, and data. While each survey has yielded interesting insights, one common theme continues to emerge: Today’s CFO faces more challenges than ever before due to an increasing need for greater business agility. Bottom line, while more data should enable greater insights, the ability to gather, enrich, and analyze data continues to challenge CFOs and their teams.

Clearly, digital transformation efforts are underway enterprise-wide as organizations look to the power of data to drive better, faster decision-making. Yet, as businesses work to fast-track their time-to-decisions, they must first fast-track their progress in achieving a “single source of truth” (a single source of financial and operational data). Without that step, there can be no confidence in the veracity of data and certainly no confidence in the outcome of the decision.

This quarter’s Adaptive Insights CFO Indicator report explores CFOs’ confidence in data and technology, as well as their progress in moving toward a single source of truth—a topic we initially explored in 2015. As the chief stewards of data, CFOs and their teams are in a race to aggregate rising data volumes from multiple sources, without the luxury of added time or additional resources to get the job done.

Encouragingly, our survey reveals that finance has successfully cleared what we believe to be one of the most significant hurdles—its hesitancy to store data in the cloud. In fact, respondents report that while three years ago, only 33% would have trusted the cloud for their financial data, today, 73% do, reflecting the fundamental shift needed for organizations to gain both timely access to, and trust in, their data.

But while confidence in the cloud is steadily rising, CFOs may not yet have hit their stride in achieving a single source of truth. They say the primary reason is that they believe the cost would be too high. As a result, many continue to rely on legacy solutions like Microsoft Excel spreadsheets or IT-managed data warehousing solutions—solutions that are likely costing more than they realize.

Check out the infographic below for more information on the hurdles CFOs face as they continue to race toward a single source of truth, impacting the future of finance and corporate performance management.

Download the CFO Indicator Q3 2017 report for more insights, survey results, and charts.

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