Any disruption to business as usual is often seen as a hindrance. However, disruption can be used to the advantage of the CFO.
What is the definition of a disruption?
Merriam Webster has a great definition of business disruptors.
Successfully challenge (established businesses, products, or services) by using an innovation (such as new technology or business model) to gain a foothold in a marginal or new segment of the market and then fundamentally changing the nature of the market.
Notice an important word here – “successfully”. Will any CFO be perfect in their execution of something? No. But, by understanding the ever-changing nature of technology and combining that with the experiential knowledge of their peers, any investment in people and tech will be more successful.
People vs. Technology
The mantra today is to invest heavily in the latest technology. The promise of faster, error-free, risk-reducing systems seems like a utopia. But, that’s not reality.
On the other hand, organizations realize the importance of a culture of people and their creativity, ideation, and passion. Artificial intelligence or automation systems can’t replace this strength that people bring.
So, what is the CFO to do?
In a post from WSJ, there was an interesting term that was highlighted. This is the term “technology vanguards”. These vanguards were identified as those who are “more sophisticated than their peers in three areas: vision and strategy, market leadership, and technology function maturity.”
Amazingly, only 11.6% of participants fell into the category of technology vanguards. Further, tech vanguards are more likely to prioritize innovation, growth, and customers than were their counterparts.
CFOs can shape the disruption and noise into something magical, not in a hokey way. If you were to just play random keys on a piano, this would be cringeworthy. However, when played in a harmonized way, this creates something can all relate to – music.
The rapid pace of technology change should be the expected norm. CFOs can no longer throw up their hands in frustration regarding “this technology stuff”. The onus is on them to get educated, reach out and partner with their counterparts, and not forget people.