This just in, finance professionals: You’ve entered a different world.
You’re facing an ongoing wave of new technology to learn about, understand and use effectively. You have great opportunities to develop new skills to drive business growth and competitive differentiation.
However, this requires a new way of thinking about technology and business. You must decide what needs to be done differently, and when.
These themes emerged during AvidXchange’s REVx on the Road session with business leaders from the Chicago area.
“The finance industry now has a major challenge on its hands,” said Karl Ahlrichs, a thought leader on finance and human capital. “This is a different world. We’ve got to decide if we’re going to be leading in overcoming these challenges.”
Ahlrichs said it’s time for finance pros to figure out what skills sets are needed to perform specific tasks, whether those tasks are client-facing or repetitive, and identify what can be eliminated.
He said the finance industry has tended to lag behind in its effective use of technologies such as automation, and that needs to change.
Echoing these sentiments, Jim Lindell, a futurist on the evolving role of the finance team, said more technology will inevitably be used in the finance industry – at a faster clip.
“Changes will be more rapid as we go forward,” he said.
And adapting immediately is crucial.
“Right now is the most control you’ll ever have to get the right technology in place so you can react to the world in these abnormal times,” Lindell said. “You have to keep up with the blocking and tackling of good management and have the culture in place to provide employees with fulfilling work. Your people will be your competitive advantage and the technologies you use will be the tools to get you that edge.”
Angelic Gibson, chief information officer with AvidXchange, said the skills and creativity of people – not technologies per se – will make all the difference in this new business world now coalescing.
“Robots are never going to take over the world,” she said. “You still need people to leverage these technologies using the most powerful parts of their intellect to create and move business forward. Technology advancements and wider use of them are going to happen. Don’t be afraid of them. Embrace them.”