Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

How Growth CFOs Can Enable Business Agility in the Cloud

Di Seghposs
Senior Director, Product Marketing

Markets constantly change. Whether it’s demand for new innovations, the growth of eCommerce, or competition in emerging markets, companies expect Growth CFOs to track market shifts that could impact future success.

In fact, 60% of companies saw their top priority for business growth change between 2015 and 2016, according to The CFO Alliance’s 2016 CFO Sentiment Study. As a Growth CFO, you must be able to react rapidly and make fast, proactive decisions to keep pace with the evolving marketplace.

The need for agile decision-making capabilities is particularly critical when you consider how survey respondents ranked their priorities for driving growth in 2016. Those top priorities include:

  • Driving organic growth (51%)
  • Expanding into new markets (17%)
  • Product innovation (13%)
  • M&A activity (7%)
  • Improving customer service (6%)

Unfortunately, many finance departments lack the technology they need to enable fast, flexible decision-making. More than 60% of the companies responding to the survey said they’re “drowning in spreadsheets.” (Click the image to see the full infographic.)

Recognizing the need for change, nearly one-third of CFOs said they planned to pursue a technology upgrade this year. At Oracle, we’re seeing many finance organizations turn to cloud-based ERP and EPM systems to reduce or eliminate manual, spreadsheet-based processes. According to the survey:

  • 79% of growing companies currently use cloud-based solutions
  • More than 37% of CFOs said they planned to use cloud-based solutions within the next 18 months
  • 17% are fully converted to cloud financial solutions
  • 43% have limited use of cloud-based financial solutions

In the past, finance professionals exported data from disparate systems into unwieldy spreadsheets, increasing the risk of errors and providing conflicting views of company performance. EPM cloud solutions allow you to work with data directly from your core financial system (no exports required) in a familiar, spreadsheet interface. You get all the capabilities of spreadsheets with none of the mistakes—and you can easily drill down into underlying transactions, reports, and application functions from any device.

The right ERP and EPM cloud solutions can help SMBs get a complete, 360-degree view of their business. The result: Finance organizations can adapt to market changes as they occur, so they can stay a step ahead of the competition.

For a more in-depth look at the results of the CFO Alliance sentiment survey, download the complete report

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