Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

Learning How to Be Agile at the Modern Finance Experience

Lynne Sampson
Managing Editor

If you think being a chief financial officer is a tough job, try being a CEO.

According to Oracle CEO Mark Hurd (who has held the position since 2010), the average tenure of today's CEO is 18 quarters. In fact, 40 percent of them don't make it past 18 months.

Hurd delivered the opening keynote at the Modern Finance Experience, which began yesterday in Boston. The general session also featured perspectives from Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, as well as finance technology leaders from Wake Forest Baptist Health and Western Alliance Bancorporation

The topics of discussion ranged from forecasts for the U.S. economy (prognostication: mostly good for the next couple of years) to the need for CEOs to have an immediate impact at the beginning of their tenures.

One way to achieve fast growth, Hurd said, is to take market share away from competitors; this requires having a great set of products that offer a better customer experience, and being able to pivot quickly in the face of market disruption. In the digital age, this can come at any time and upset entire industries, so companies need to be prepared to change strategies. 

The ability to pivot quickly is something that finance leaders, in particular, are looking to support. A new research report from Oracle and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), Agile Finance Revealed: The New Operating Model for Modern Financeexamined the traits of agile finance organizations and found that they were significantly more likely to report:

  • Increased revenues (89% vs 63%) over the last three years
  • Increased profitability (95% vs 70%) over the last three years 

Today's sessions promise dozens more stories from agile finance organizations—including the Change Agents of Finance Awards ceremony. More on that later!

What are the traits of agile finance leaders? Download Agile Finance Revealed: The New Operating Model for Modern Finance.


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