CFOs and other financial professionals are fairly optimistic that we are approaching an economic recovery. Over 70% anticipate that we will return to normal by the end of the year, according to the latest Enterprise Financial Decision-Making report from OneStream, a leading provider of corporate performance management solutions. The report suggests that businesses have increased their investment into data analysis tools and general usage considerably over the last year.
The study by OneStream explored financial leaders across North America and determined certain factors that influenced their priorities, budgets and technology integration plans for this year. The findings suggested that the pandemic had generated a bigger need for flexible forecasting, predictive planning and digital transformation. The capability to forecast budgets quickly and change workflows have become a critical feature since the pandemic began.
The report also discovered that financial executives have significantly increased their usage and investment in data analysis tools. Businesses generally tend to invest in artificial intelligence and the results showed increased use of cloud-based planning and reporting solutions. Most businesses (around 70%) are already using or plan to adopt (20%) a low-code development platform that allows business users and developers to adopt new roles while managing complex coding requirements.
In the case of return-to-office budgets, data privacy tools are regarded as the most common priority, followed by hybrid cloud solutions.
In comparison, the OneStream 2020 Enterprise Financial Decision-Making Report indicated that less than half of finance executives used cloud-based solutions regularly for reporting. The 2020 report also showed that less than a quarter used machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions.
Many financial leaders are exploring their workforce, technology and supply chain requirements in a post-pandemic world. However, the influence of changing policies and social development has had a significant impact on investment plans, encouraging leaders to focus on sustainability and diversity measures as well.
The study was conducted by Hanover Research this year covering hundreds of financial decision-makers in Northern America. The full OneStream Report – Enterprise Financial Decision-Making 2021 – North America can be viewed here.