Press Release


STAMFORD, Conn., May 19, 2022

Gartner Survey Shows Significant Rise in Number of CFOs Planning Cost Cuts Due to Inflation

CFOs View Continuing Price Hikes as Unsustainable in Long-Term Inflationary Environment

CFOs have relied on raising prices as their primary strategy for combating high levels of inflation, but they recognize that this strategy is unsustainable if inflation persists long-term, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc.

A May survey of 182 CFOs and senior finance leaders showed that CFOs will increasingly turn to cost reductions if above-average inflation continues into the fourth quarter of this year, while also seeking efficiency gains through increased automation.

“CFOs are receiving feedback from customers that the limit to price hikes is near,” said Alexander Bant, chief of research in the Gartner Finance practice. “This reality has already set the planning process in place for other strategies, most notably cost reductions and enhancing digital capabilities for increased use of automation.”

Fifty-four percent of respondents said that price hikes remain their top tool for now, but only 25% expected to continue to rely on price hikes if high inflation remained in Q4 of 2022. The trend was opposite for cost reductions, with just 20% of respondents currently favoring the strategy as their primary tool, rising to 39% if inflation persists (See Figure 1). 

Figure 1: CFO’s and Finance Leaders Primary Actions to Combat Inflation

Source: Gartner (May 2022)

Automation as an Inflation Strategy

The survey data revealed that automation will remain a consistently viable primary action for about a quarter of CFOs over the short and medium term, with interest in this strategy slightly rising if inflation persists. Notably, automation and price increases were selected by a near equal amount respondents as their planned primary action to combat inflation, if needed, in Q4 of 2022.

“CFOs are increasingly looking to the long-term benefits of digital investments, including automation, that can permanently reduce the cost of doing business,” said Bant.

Previous Gartner research highlights how CFOs can utilize technology investments to drive down the cost of doing business while increasing profitable growth through the process of digital deflation.

Gartner clients can learn more in: What CFOs Are Doing About Inflation. Nonclients can learn more in: 3 Ways to Mitigate Margin Pressure from Input Price Inflation.

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

About the Gartner CFO & Finance Executive Conference

Gartner experts will provide additional insights on the key issues facing CFOs during the Gartner CFO & Finance Executive Conference, June 6-7, 2022, in National Harbor, MD. The Gartner CFO & Finance Executive Conference delivers actionable, objective insight to CFOs and their teams to help them leap-frog forward on their digital journey by understanding what successful teams are, and are not, building, buying, and borrowing in the market. For the full agenda and to register visit:

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 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. Visit the Gartner Finance Newsroom for more information and insights.

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