Lesson from the CFO: Think Beyond Finance when it comes to Digital Transformation
Tom Strunk, CFO at World Wide Technology (WWT) shares with CFO Innovation his role in the company’s digital transformation journey, how his 110-strong finance team has changed since then and some of the challenges he faces as CFO.
Posted by CFO Innovation on August 27, 2018:
As the role of the CFO has evolved, finance leaders have a key role to play in their companies’ digital transformation as well. Tom Strunk (pictured), CFO at US-headquartered tech solutions provider World Wide Technology (WWT) shares with CFO Innovation his role in the company’s digital transformation journey which started in June 2017, how his 110-strong finance team has changed since then, and the challenges facing him.
Organizations in Asia differ but CFOs here in the region might still be able to find some of Strunk’s experience and insights applicable to their situations.
What has been your experience as CFO with digital transformation at WWT in reference to the finance function? I’m assuming your company isn’t a digital native, as it was founded in 1990 as a product reseller.
TS: WWT did not start out as a digital native company, but we are well on our way in our digital transformation journey. From a finance perspective, the integration between finance and other functions in the business is becoming more critical than ever.
Understanding how finance fits into every part of the business cycle is becoming increasingly important. The integration of analytics and finance produces much-needed insights for every aspect of the business, from lead-generation in marketing, to sales, procurement and the supply chain.
The cycle repeats itself as we analyse the generated figures and this data is fed back into the business to better inform our business strategy. The alignment between business and IT has become much more collaborative as we advance on our digital transformation journey.Tom Strunk, CFO, World Wide Technology
How’d you compare pre-digital WWT with fully digital WWT in terms of the finance function’s operation? Are there fewer finance team members, for example?
TS: The role of finance is changing as companies embark on their digital transformation. We’re moving from mostly doing back-end processing and adding up numbers to more front-end analysis and real-time business intelligence.
About half of the finance team remain dedicated to traditional roles such as accounts receivable, accounts payable and the general processing associated with finance. The other half is focused on the more digital and transformative aspects of the role, including analytics, forecasting and providing business intelligence.