Conference Updates

London, September 18, 2023

Gartner CFO & Finance Executive Conference, London 2023: Day 1 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from the Gartner CFO & Finance Executive Conference 2023, taking place this week in London, UK.. Below is a collection of key announcements and insights coming out of the conference.

On Day 1 of the conference we are looking at key insights from Gartner’s latest finance technology landscape research; bridging the gender gap; how self-service tools are changing data storytelling and developing and retaining finance talent.

Key Announcements

Key Insights From the Latest Finance Technology Landscape Research

Presented by Matt Mowrey, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

There are many technologies that finance leaders can pick from, the result is often a risk averse decision paralysis or simply choosing the wrong technology. In this session, Matt Mowrey, senior director analyst at Gartner, took a deep dive into the finance technology landscape to help finance leaders select the right technology for their digital ambitions.

Key Takeaways

  • “Core finance technologies, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), travel and entertainment (T&E) solutions and capital budgeting tools, are the most adopted category of technology in finance.”

  • “Two of the most valuable technologies in the  process automation and optimization category are robotic process automation (RPA) and workflow automation. This is the second most adopted class of technologies by finance functions.”

  • “The third most adopted category of technologies is critical non-finance technology and tools, which is rooted in high levels of adoption for high value tools, such as workforce planning and CRM systems. This category also includes technologies like blockchain and internet of things… meaning that plans for further investment are also common.”

  • “Technologies such as business intelligence (BI), advanced analytics and big data make up the least adopted category - advanced data analytics technologies and tools. This is surprising because analytics advancement should be considered foundational in finance transformation.”

Filling the Gender Gap: Redesigning Work to Fortify Your Organization

Presented by Katie Sutherland, HR Advisory Director, Gartner

Research shows that women disproportionately leave their job more often than men due to caretaking and burnout, which is reflective of an antiquated work design built for a man. In this session, Katie Sutherland, HR Advisory Director at Gartner, explained that the key to making work more equitable is to change our work design.

Key Takeaways

  • “If leaders are going to transform the organization, and not just transform women, they need to change many of the foundational—but outdated—assumptions some people have about work and women and men.”

  • “Work design in our ‘day job’ was built for a man, and certainly wasn’t built for couples where both parties work that day job.”

  • “Changing minds is hard, but we’ve just been through a global pandemic, and we all saw work design change overnight. To transform the organization, there needs to be a mindset shift.”

  • “If employers want to start to redefine ‘professional’ at their organization, they have to get rid of those who uphold the old, outdated, and often sexist and racist versions of professionalism.”

  • “Organizations must recognize that women, and increasingly all employees, work “multiple jobs”, and retention in the ‘day job’ will hinge on easing friction across jobs.”

Digital Storytelling: The Key to a Data-Driven Business

Presented by Clement Christensen, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

When presenting data, it’s important to weave a story to create the best chances of the audience retaining and acting on that information. However, many companies are encountering problems with data storytelling because old ideas don’t work so well with new self-service tools. In this session, Clement Christensen, senior director analyst at Gartner, explored some of the ways leading companies are changing their approach to storytelling in the digital era.

Key Takeaways

  • “Finance often makes the mistake of trying to tell linear stories with non-linear tools.”

  • “ Storytelling in a self-service environment is more akin to a “choose your own adventure” (CYOA) story than a traditional book.”

  • “CYOA stories can apply graph analytics and decision intelligence to better direct the audience in a self-service environment.”

  • “There are two essential steps to telling a good CYOA story. First, you need to structure narrative clusters so the story remains coherent as you explore it. Second, design narrative chains to guide the audience down a path that leads to an intuitive conclusion.”

  • “In data storytelling language: structure data relationships and design data story plotlines that make sense to the readers.” 

  • "Graph Analytics and Decision Intelligence are essential finance capabilities to do this: Graph analytics reveal the narrative clusters of data points and the relationships between them. Decision intelligence is how to start to better understand the intuition of the readers.”

Developing and Retaining Digital Finance Talent

Presented by Hilary Richards, VP Analyst, Gartner

Digital finance talent has a 63% higher attrition rate than core finance talent and is also 69% more expensive to replace. In this session, Hilary Richards, VP Analyst at Gartner, highlighted the main reasons why digital finance staff become dissatisfied and best practices for retaining these employees. 

Key Takeaways

  • “There’s an increasing level of frustration being expressed by digital finance talent. They feel a lack of support from stakeholders, they’re overwhelmed by the volume of low-value work they’re asked to perform, and they’re limited by existing technologies available to them.”
  • “Digital finance talent is both scarce and hard to retain. CFOs aim to expand this talent pool to 46% of the finance function by 2027.”

  • “Provide digital and core finance workers with recurring collaboration opportunities to help build and nurture a sense of belonging in finance.”

  • “Instead of providing digital finance talent with role-based career paths, embrace an experience-based approach that enables workers to build domain expertise at different experience levels.”


    Tune back in tomorrow for more updates from the conference.

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