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STAMFORD Conn., September 8, 2021

Gartner Identifies the Top Technology Trends That CFOs Should Address Today

These Trends Require Immediate CFO Attention Due to Their Profound Potential Impact on Finance Operations

Hyperautomation and intelligent composable business are the top strategic trends that CFOs should immediately address, according to Gartner, Inc.

“These trends reflect the need for finance leaders to quickly and efficiently adjust to rapidly changing business conditions,” said Alejandra Lozada, senior director, research in the Gartner Finance practice. “Hyperautomation stresses the importance of moving away from manual and onerous processes to automated processes which can be more easily adjusted to changing business conditions. Similarly, intelligent composable business highlights the need for finance leaders to create flexible systems and capabilities that can be adjusted as needed.”

With so many technologies and trends competing for CFOs’ attention, Gartner experts recommend CFOs focus on two trends for immediate action because a fragmented and ill-considered technology approach will likely curtail the potential benefits of digitalization.

Trend 1: Hyperautomation
Gartner predicts that by 2024, organizations will reduce operational costs by 30% by combining hyperautomation technologies with redesigned operational processes. When thinking about automation, many CFOs have fallen into the trap of overusing a single technology tool — robotic process automation (RPA) — but they are discovering that RPA cannot be scaled to automate a large proportion of finance processes.

“CFOs must understand that RPA is just one part of the hyperautomation toolbox which also includes artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), event-driven software architecture, and intelligent business process management suites (iBPMSs), among other tools,” Lozada said.

Gartner recommends that CFOs prioritize finance automation investments by creating an iterative, multiyear roadmap to hyperautomation, including multiple concurrent and aligned initiatives. They should also develop a business-led approach toward automation adoption by focusing on measurable improvements in business outcomes, rather than automation-focused goals.

Trend 2: Intelligent composable business
Gartner predicts through 2024, 50% of financial application leaders will incorporate a composable financial management system approach to their solution selection. Gartner defines a composable architecture as one where highly modular applications can be composed and recomposed to deliver capabilities and outcomes that keep up with the rapid pace of business change.

“Financial management system (FMS) solutions that encompass cloud core financial management, financial planning and analysis and financial close processes should become composable,” said Lozada. “This will allow them to be acquired, assembled, composed, configured and personalized primarily by the finance staff who actually use them.”

The payoff of such a financial management architecture is that, as it is highly modular, it can be quickly reconfigured, by the staff who use it, to meet their needs and the needs of the business in a rapidly changing environment. CFOs can improve the ability to accelerate the implementation, operation and management of composable financial management systems by developing relevant finance competencies, such as data literacy, which facilitates data integration across a broad range of available sources.

Gartner clients can read more in: Top 2021 Strategic Technology Trends for Finance.

Non clients can learn more here: Top Strategic Technology Trends for Finance.

CFOs and finance leaders can participate in Gartner research and get complementary access by joining the Gartner Research Circle.

About the Gartner Finance Practice
The Gartner Finance practice helps senior finance executives meet their top priorities. Gartner offers a unique breadth and depth of content to support clients’ individual success and deliver on key initiatives that cut across finance functions to drive business impact. Learn more at https://www.gartner.com/en/finance/finance-leaders. Follow Gartner for Finance on LinkedIn and Twitter using #GartnerFinance to stay ahead of the latest expert insights and key trends shaping the Finance function

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About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) delivers actionable, objective insight to executives and their teams. Our expert guidance and tools enable faster, smarter decisions and stronger performance on an organization’s most critical priorities. To learn more, visit gartner.com.