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National Harbor, MD, June 6, 2022

Gartner CFO & Finance Executive Conference Day 1 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from the Gartner CFO & Finance Executive Conference 2022, taking place this week in National Harbor, Md. Below is a collection of key announcements and insights coming out of the conference.

On Day 1 of the conference we are highlighting trends in the finance technology landscape; integrated business planning, how to advance an ESG program and what bitcoin means for CFOs.

 

Key Announcements

Key Trends in the Finance Technology Landscape

Presented by Matthew Mowrey, Sr Director Analyst, Gartner

Sixty-nine percent of board members say they want to accelerate digital business. The vast majority of CFOs therefore want to better understand which technologies and innovations could benefit finance today and build a technology roadmap. In this session, Matthew Mowray, Sr. Director Analyst at Gartner,  explained some key trends in the finance technology landscape.

Key Takeaways

  • Core finance technologies are rapidly moving to cloud applications to reduce cost, streamline process, and take advantage of integration opportunities.
  • “Cloud is the foundation for scalable finance technology—make sure it’s in everything you do.”
  • “Not every technology is relevant to your business context, understand and zero in on your most promising use cases.”
  • “Select technologies based on their proven ability to optimize and enhance key finance activities rather than based on hype.”
  • “Look beyond quick efficiency wins and align investments with a coherent and sustainable digitalization plan, guided by long-term finance objectives rather than immediate needs.”

Integrated Business Planning: How to Develop Scenarios That Drive Proactive Contingency Responses

Presented by Regina Crowder, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

An increase in business disruption is driving an increased need for integrated business planning. In this session, Regina Crowder, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner,  outlined the three common barriers to increasing integrated business scenario planning, and how financial planning & analytics (FP&A) teams can shift from a posture of reacting to proactive responding.

Key Takeaways

  • Integrated business planning helps FP&A leaders drive value for the business by moving away from divisional silos to maintaining a continuously updated operational and financial plan. This allows organizations to make faster, better-informed decisions. 
  • “Achieving a cross-functional alignment behind one number does not reflect the complexity in current business situations or meet the rapidly changing demand in today’s volatile markets.”Companies struggle to formalize and manage their approach to scenario planning and lack the necessary structure to ultimately drive action and decision making. 
  • Organizations that fail to plan for future scenarios can get blindsided by emerging threats and opportunities, leading to stall points that can destroy 68% of corporate value on average.
  • FP&A leaders should embed scenario planning capability in the integrated business planning (IBP) process by identifying both alternative scenarios and risks, as well as opportunities based on key external and internal drivers. 

How to Advance an ESG Program

Presented by Kristin Moyer, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

Sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) are among the top 10 priorities for CEOs for 2022-23 and have continued to rise in the list of board priorities. In this session, Kristin Moyer, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, identified the steps to advance an ESG program and the unique role CFOs have to play.

Key Takeaways

  • Finance leaders should embrace the business benefits of ESG: $20 trillion of assets under management (AUM) sit in ESG-aligned funds.
  • “ESG execution can reduce operating costs up to 60% and reduce the cost of capital.”
  • “ESG presents investment challenges because it often involves large investments with long time horizons for return on investment and difficulty in quantifying such returns by conventional metrics.”
  • “Finance leaders should adapt resource allocation by operationalizing ESG. Link material issues to measurable goals and map goals to processes, decision makers, accountability and behavior change.” 
  • “CFOs should seek to increase market valuation by embracing a new value equation for ESG that includes stakeholder issues and value.”

As Bitcoin Goes Mainstream, What Does it Mean to CFOs?

Presented by Avivah Litan, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

CFOs must prepare for a world where digital currencies are widely accepted and used. Gartner research outlines the different functions digital currencies have in an organization, as well as the risks they pose. In this session, Avivah Litan, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, provided the latest updates in the digital currency space and a framework for CFOs to engage with practical business use cases.

Key Takeaways

  • “By 2024, at least 20% of large enterprises will use digital currencies for payment, stored value or investment, disrupting current financial networks and business models.”
  • There are three types of digital currencies: Cryptocurrency, Stablecoin, and Central Bank Digital Currency. 
  • Cryptocurrency: Decentralized control, lives on public transparent blockchain; Bitcoin and Ethereum are in this category.
  • Stablecoin: Blockchain-issued cryptocurrencies designed for stability; pegged to a specific value. Most popular stablecoins are pegged to $USD, but also to other fiat currencies or assets, such as precious metals.
  • Central Bank Digital Currency: Fiat currencies issued by Central Banks in digital form; in place of, or as, complement to physical currency. Central bank governments maintain reserves and deposits to back it.
  • Cryptocurrencies will underpin Web3 and Metaverse economies based on business models enabled by peer-to-peer decentralized protocols.
  • CFOs should continue to educate themselves on the opportunities and risks of digital currencies in order to be able to articulate reasoned opinions to the CEO and Board.

That is a wrap for day one! Please be sure to come back for highlights from day two tomorrow. 

It’s not too late to join the conference!

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 mission critical priorities. To learn more, visit gartner.com.

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