Today’s banks are still working to meet changing regulatory demands while maintaining stable earnings. But they may have a new hero in their Chief Financial Officer (CFO). According to the Accenture CFO Reimagined survey, today’s banking CFOs are ideally positioned, with one foot in today’s economic and operational risks, and one foot in tomorrow’s data-driven future.
Teaming with the risk function, banking CFOs are honing their ability to predict the future. By tapping new technologies and digging into data, they are preparing banks to face future changes easily, more rapidly and more accurately. They are turning finance into an engine that can power the entire enterprise.
How CFOs become guides
To move the business forward, CFOs should guide the way toward data centricity. Our CFO Reimagined research finds three in four banking CFOs are confident that their teams can help businesses adopt a predictive, data-centric mindset.
CFOs can identify and target areas of new value, both enterprise-wide and across the extended ecosystem. They can find the right technologies to efficiently extract and leverage that value. Technology solutions can include artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud. Using cloud means being nimble: Cloud increases agility, accelerates digital services rollout and improves security.
CFOs are already taking steps to guide banks toward effectively creating more value for clients.
A data-driven culture
To provide a complete response for banks in this area, CFOs should back up data management strategies and technologies with the right talent. Banks need new skills. Hiring the best MBAs will not suffice for capturing meaning out of data. CFOs can find creative ways to bring data science skills into the organization.
Individual talent is one part of the answer. Culture is the other. Working with robots and other forms of artificial intelligence may be the new norm, and workers should see the benefits in these technologies, not the perceived threats. Among banking survey respondents, 40 percent say resistance to non-human colleagues is a barrier to adopting these technologies.
Banking CFOs should lead by example, guiding banks into the workforce of tomorrow.
Four priorities for banking CFOs
Banking CFOs should not hesitate. Our CFO Reimagined research identifies steps they can take to move the business forward and solidify the value they can deliver.
“Banks are between two worlds,” says Alan McIntyre, Senior Managing Director for Accenture Financial Services. “The CFO will perform an increasingly difficult balancing act between managing risk and unlocking new value. It’s difficult, and there are risks ahead, but data and the broader adoption of digital offer an extraordinary amount of opportunity.”