CFO report: Driving growth via new business models and technology 

May 14, 2021

2021 CFO Insights Report from U.S. Bank shines a light on how U.S. finance leaders are evaluating new business models and leveraging technology to drive growth and transformation.

 

Faced with the challenges of a historic pandemic, American businesses have demonstrated remarkable resilience over the past year, balancing short-term needs with investment in the future. U.S. Bank surveyed CFOs and senior finance leaders across industries to learn how they’re creating growth opportunities during the recovery and we uncovered transformation at work. The survey shows finance teams are driving growth by altering the capital allocation process, exploring new business models and investing in innovative technology.
 

Evaluating new business models 

How exactly are finance leaders helping their businesses to drive growth and transformation? According to the survey, evaluating new business models is the most popular method. With COVID-19 upending traditional consumer preferences and supply chains, 42% say they are investigating new business models to keep up. Because they have access to a wide range of financial and operational data and have advanced analytical skills, finance teams are best placed to evaluate new business models.

Of note, there are vast differences between sectors. Finance leaders in manufacturing and industry are most likely to explore new business models (52%) while finance leaders in health and life sciences are least likely (36%).

 

Leveraging technology

One third of finance leaders are helping their businesses drive growth and transformation by exploring and reviewing new technologies. Finance leaders are suited to this, because their analytical capabilities enable them to assess the potential payback. Because they can see performance across the entire business, they can also understand which areas would benefit most from new technology.

According to the survey, 50% of finance leaders intend to cut costs by investing in technology, and 25% rank deploying technology within the function as a top three priority.

When asked which areas within finance would benefit most from digital transformation, finance leaders ranked risk and compliance first (39%). This is likely driven by the fact that COVID-19 has raised awareness of the importance of adequate risk processes, controls and tools. The pandemic has also rapidly accelerated the rate at which customers interact and purchase from businesses through digital channels, which may be forcing finance teams to invest in technologies that help prevent payments fraud.

 

To learn more about how U.S. finance teams are guiding their businesses toward sustainable growth, read the 2021 CFO Insights Report from U.S. Bank.

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