The next evolution in business is upon us.
In an increasingly global and digital society, technological advancement will continue to play a significant role in the continued progress of entire industries and set the stage for the emergence of new ones.
Enterprise 4.0 is the term used today to define the combination of digital technologies, data, and analysis tools found throughout the design and production chain.
The impact of Enterprise 4.0’s digitalisation will be significant in all sectors such as manufacturing, retail, service, healthcare, utilities, and transportation.
The development of new technologies is a process that requires investments.
Enterprise 4.0, in particular, represents a structural change for companies, which has to be funded. A third of funds are generated via intelligent management of company costs. This approach may be much more effective than borrowing to fund investments.
It is in this context that the role of the CFO becomes crucial, to ensure that the company does not miss out on major growth opportunities and trail behind its competitors due to the lack of adequate resources.
“CFOs must be increasingly aware of the importance of the role they play.”
Digitalisation’s impact on business functions
All businesses are affected by digitalisation and the integration of new technologies. Each function within a company will be shaped by digital transformation, but in different ways.
Digitalisation will also affect employees directly. In fact, it’s employees—whose professional competencies and specific qualifications—who will make the implementation of digital processes possible.
Digitalisation will have the most impact on companies’ organisational and management control systems. Digital technologies are used in companies mainly in organisational processes and can be seen in network systems such as a company-wide intranet or a digital employee address book that can be accessed via Outlook.
“CFOs will shift from their traditional role as administration and finance experts, with technical skills based on administration, management control, cash-flow management, and financial planning.”
New competencies for CFOs in Enterprise 4.0
We are presented with a new CFO, one that has considerable capabilities for managing change, has in-depth knowledge of the business, and has good digital competencies.
A CFO will be required to lead a Finance Department that is more streamlined but with higher skill levels, since automation will drastically reduce routine activities, giving employees the opportunity to focus on higher-value activities.