Welcome to the CFO EXCHANGE

Things move fast in today’s technology industry landscape, including within your own business environment.

The finance function’s broad scope and increased responsibilities mean that others consistently seek your insights to understand the competitive marketplace and prepare the organization for growth.

We hope this community will be a go-to resource to meet with an exclusive group of peers within the software industry to discuss challenges, exchange learnings, and remain current on trends.

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Executive Summaries CFO EXCHANGE Highlights
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Industry Perspectives
2021 Technology Challenges

Economic conditions
impacting growth
COVID-19 has brought substantial uncertainty to today's environment. Overall economic issues in domestic and international markets have significantly escalated with volatility in equity markets, changes in the U.S. Federal Funds rate, actions by other central banks, multiple tariff and trade policy disputes and negotiations, and it all has executives on the edge of their seats wondering about an economic downturn. Resilient organizations are focusing on finance and operations business performance processes that will result in improvements to cash flow, control and optimization of costs, and risk management.
Adoption of digital
The adoption of digital technologies, such as those enabled by AI, robotics and natural language processing in their organizations, may require new skills that either are in short supply or require significant efforts to upskill and reskill existing employees. As the future world of work evolves, organizations need to optimize their mix of internal, contracted and interim human talent and electronic workers (machines and algorithms). Without access to the talent that understands the technologies and how they may be deployed, organizations may find themselves behind competitors who can react quickly to assimilate innovations into the business.
Industry organizations are becoming more proactive in implementing alternative labor strategies. This not only includes outsourcing non-core processes and activities and contracting with managed solutions providers, but also the deployment of increased automation and machine technologies, and a broad scope of flexible work arrangements that can be offered for skilled professionals around the world.
Privacy/identity management & information security
Although closely related to concerns of cyber threats it is important to realize that challenges related to maintaining data privacy and securing identity protection extend beyond hackers gaining access to systems. Companies are looking into the proliferation of data gathered and stored for long periods of time across all types of organizations and across international borders and how it is exponentially increasing operational challenges related to tracking, warehousing and protecting data. Organizations are trying to avoid accidental missteps in handling operations that may inadvertently reveal information deemed to be private or proprietary.
Regulatory changes & regulatory scrutiny
Given the uncertainty about future regulatory changes, there is increasing concern about unknown regulations that may be on the horizon, which could impact the resiliency of TMT operations and the manner in which the group’s products and services are produced and delivered. Prudent technology organizations are investing time and resources to develop and build out their risk and compliance functions to prepare themselves for the inevitable increase in regulations that will impact the industry.
Resistance to change operations
Change management is difficult. This challenge highlights an organization's potential unwillingness or inability to make necessary timely adjustments to the business model and core operations that might be needed to respond to changes in the overall business environment and industry. Companies are looking at transformation in many forms – from complex core financial system modernizations to the deployment of robotic process automation to improve business performance and improve analytics, controls and reporting. These changes require a fundamental shift in the way people work, who they work with, and how they think about their work and the contributed value.
Ability to compete with born digital & other competitors
For most companies today, it’s not a question of if digital will upend their business, but when. Hyperscalability of digital business models and lack of entry barriers enable new competitors to emerge and scale very quickly in redefining the customer experience, making it difficult for incumbents to see it coming at all, much less react in a timely manner to preserve customer loyalty. In this environment, established incumbents are focusing on how their organizations can operate more efficiently, digitize new and innovative products and services, enhance the customer experience, and/or transform the business model.
Sustaining customer
loyalty and retention
The pandemic has shocked many of the traditional forms of customer interactions. If organizations cannot adjust their operations, legacy IT infrastructure and digital capabilities, they may not meet the expectations of their core customers in a manner sufficient to retain their loyalty. This risk is important because companies with high churn rates incur significant costs in replacing lost customers. Today's organizations are exploring how they can sustain customer loyalty and retention by increasing profitability through superior top-line performance and reduced marketing costs and other costs associated with educating new customers.
Rapid speed of disruptive innovations & new technologies
The rapid speed of disruptive innovations enabled by new and emerging technologies and/or other market forces may outpace an organization's ability to compete and/or manage the risk appropriately, without making significant changes to the business model. Most have been facing the risk of disruptive innovations for years and are proactively changing business models and adjusting long-term strategies to avoid being disrupted.
Cyber threats
Cybersecurity is a moving target as innovative digital transformation initiatives, cloud computing adoptions, mobile device usage, robotics, machine and deep learning, and other applications of exponential increases in computing power continue to outpace the security protections many companies have in place. There are two categories of organizations — those that have been breached and know it and those that have been breached but don’t know it yet. Tech companies are recognizing that reality as the focus shifts to addressing how such events might interrupt core operations and/or damage the brand.
Perspectives from Our Experts on Market Trends, Business
Developments and Risks
5 Questions Boards Should Ask Their CFOs

CFOs serve as a critical filter to the board of directors. And filter they must, due to the complex array of strategic risks boards expect their companies to monitor. CFOs’ expanding scope of responsibilities, strategic partnership with the CEO...

Podcast | Future of Cryptocurrency: ETFs and an Evolving Regulatory Regime

In this episode, Jackie Sanz –Managing Director leading Protiviti’s Canadian Risk and Compliance solution., interviews Vlad Tasevski –Chief Operating Officer and Head of Product at Purpose Investments, and Elliot Johnson – Chief Investment Officer and Chief Operatating Officer at Evolve ETFs...

About Protiviti
Who we are
Protiviti helps emerging, high-growth and established software and SaaS companies drive innovation with responsibility and talent.

We are a global consulting firm that delivers deep expertise, objective insights, a tailored approach, and unparalleled collaboration to help leaders confidently face the future. Our consulting solutions span critical business problems in technology, business process, analytics, risk, compliance, transactions, and internal audit.