Digital transformation, one smart step at a time

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Note from the editor

Despite its name, digital transformation comes down to increments. CFOs who lead the transformation of their finance function typically do so in tactical steps. That’s how it was approached by Teddy Collins, finance chief of event-ticket pricing platform SeatGeek. 

The finance and accounting functions at the company were built around a single, 20-megabyte master model Excel file that became obsolete as the company grew. Starting in 2020, Collins led the effort to move everything to cloud-based platforms enhanced with artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. 

The process started with a deep dive into the data they were going to collect and then, over time, moved functions, spreadsheet by spreadsheet, to collaborative applications as an interim step and then to platforms that transformed their operations by integrating across functions and operations. 

“Now we’re able to go from beginning to end, all within our planning tool, and other groups can do their own site analyses,” Collins said. 

As the pandemic showed, digital transformation is no longer a luxury for forward-thinking CFOs; it’s a must-have if CFOs are going to manage and scale their operations in alignment with growth of the broader organization.

To help you plan your own digital transformation, we’ve compiled recent articles from CFO Dive on the topic. We hope the pieces help you get a sense of how you might approach your operation’s move to cloud-based, AI- and ML-enhanced automated platforms. 

Robert Freedman Editor

AI will yield biggest return in CFO spending during coming decade: Gartner

• Published May 26, 2021

Colonial hack a wake-up call to CFOs with legacy systems

Older systems leave finance and accounting operational data at risk of breach, security specialists say.

• Published May 14, 2021

Federated approach touted as best for digital transformation

Let IT build a centralized automation platform while operational teams build the specialized processes that link into it, an integration specialist says.

• Published June 23, 2021

Weed out data before evolving finance tools, planning chief says

Teddy Collins of SeatGeek gave the company's data a hard look before transitioning finance tools from Excel to Google sheets to third-party applications.

• Published April 12, 2021

CFO used digital transformation to turn back-office function into value driver

LivePerson finance chief John Collins brought in top data scientists and engineers to build a data system that increased growth and improved margins.

• Published March 29, 2021

3 CFO mistakes to avoid as IT spend rises to record in 2021

Financial executives should avert mistakes in digital transformation as they budget record capital for IT purchases this year.

• Published Feb. 15, 2021

How digital transformation is changing the finance world

The pandemic proved digital transformation is no longer a luxury for forward-thinking CFOs; it’s a must-have to manage and scale operations. As finance chief of SeatGeek showed, CFOs who lead the transformation of their finance function typically do so in tactical steps.

included in this trendline
  • AI will yield biggest return in CFO spending during coming decade: Gartner
  • 3 CFO mistakes to avoid as IT spend rises to record in 2021
  • CFO used digital transformation to turn back-office function into value driver
Our Trendlines go deep on the biggest trends. These special reports, produced by our team of award-winning journalists, help business leaders understand how their industries are changing.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.