CFOs need to adopt hyperautomation and an intelligent composable business style to avoid having fragmented and ill-considered technology approaches that curtail the potential benefits of digitalization, says Gartner.
The research and advisory firm called the two approaches the areas of tech CFOs should be focusing on the most.
They “reflect the need for finance leaders to quickly and efficiently adjust to rapidly changing business conditions,” said Alejandra Lozada, senior director of research in the Gartner finance practice.
Hyperautomation refers to the automating of manual and onerous processes to help leaders adjust quickly to changing business conditions. Intelligent composable business refers to an organizational structure that can be easily changed in tandem with new digital landscapes.
Implementing hyperautomation effectively requires creating an iterative, multiyear roadmap that focuses on measurable improvements in business outcomes rather than automation-focused goals, Gartner says.
Many CFOs have fallen into the trap of overusing a single technology tool — robotic process automation (RPA) — at the expense of other applications, the company says. That has a big downside: it’s hard to scale, so it can leave a large proportion of the finance processes manual.
“CFOs must understand that RPA is just one part of the hyperautomation toolbox, which also includes artificial intelligence, machine learning, event-driven software architecture, and intelligent business process management suites,” she said.
Intelligent composable business
Gartner says intelligent composable business deserves prompt and critical attention, because it enables finance leaders to create systems and capabilities that can be adjusted quickly as needed — an imperative when operating in a data-driven business landscape.
With composable architecture, CFOs have the advantage of highly modular applications that can be composed and recomposed to deliver capabilities and outcomes that keep up with the rapid pace of business change, Lozada said.
Through 2024, 50% of financial application leaders will incorporate a composable financial management system approach, Gartner predicts.
“Financial management system solutions that encompass cloud core financial management, financial planning and analysis and financial close processes should become composable,” said Lozada. “This will allow them to be acquired, assembled, composed, configured and personalized primarily by the finance staff who actually use them.”
Using composable management allows CFOs to improve the ability to accelerate the implementation, operation, and management of composable financial management systems by developing relevant finance competencies, such as data literacy, which facilitates data integration across a broad range of available sources, Gartner asserted.