The Role of CFO 3.0 in Industry 4.0

Most of us have heard of Industry 4.0 and how this is predicted to transform the way we engage with the world. Cyril Ramaphosa talks about investment in Industry 4.0 being the game changer to South Africa’s economic development. With AI, robotics, apps and exponential data sets, it is undeniable that the world is changing. Data has moved from a process to an organisational asset. In this new era, has your finance team evaluated whether they are bookkeepers or business partners? Has your team taken the steps they need to take to move forward, instead of falling behind?
CFO 3.0 needs to evolve with the changing environment to one that utilises data automation and predictive analytics to be part of business strategy and daily operations to become faster, more agile and responsive.

Sean Doherty, the CFO of Transaction Capital, in the webinar with Dimago talks about his CFO vision towards becoming a finance team that uses data to develop insights every day to enable decision making. He calls this continuous learning. His goal is simple. To remove eventing like year-end, audits and budgets out of the finance team to be a fluid, continuous process so that his team can focus on providing insights and value to the organisation.

And Sean Doherty doesn’t just talk the talk. He walks the walk, with his example of how data has been monetised within his organisation. Using a financing model for taxi drivers that blends multiple sources of historical data, a predictive analytics metric is given to assess financial risk, as well as adjust the repayment rate based on how busy the route is within each month. This is the true value of real time data automation and analytics, when an organization can develop a responsive, flexible finance model based on client needs and cash availability.

Sean Doherty believes that CFO’s need to make a choice. To automate, or not to automate, “Are we a data driven organization which makes strategic and operational decisions every day on data. Absolutely. And I am sure pretty much every organization out there is. The choice of finance people and finance teams is, do you want to be part of that or not?”

With automation, the possibilities and potential are endless. Imagine if you could free up 40% of your team’s capacity so they could be review real time data for insights to identify opportunities or risk. Imagine how engaged, motivated and inspired your people would feel if they had the capacity to use their generally highly educated backgrounds to contribute and make a real difference to the organisation.

With automation, the gap between strategy, execution and learning becomes significantly shorter resulting in a continuous cycle where you can learn fast, fail faster and ultimately unlock value within your organisation.

The game changer is how you learn continuously. Sean Doherty believes that if you close the loop between execute and learn, people will be more engaged and add more value because they are doing more interesting things. This results in a happier workforce, increased productivity and importantly, the ability to shift and keep pace with the market, and your competitors.