Digital transformation has almost become synonymous with ICT literacy. Most conversations and engagement these days in the B2B space include the impact of digital including technologies like Blockchain, IoT, AI, Augmented reality, etc. Digital has typically taken a very technology centric route with several definitions alluding to the use of technology to radically improving the performance of enterprises. The role of a CFO in this context has become increasingly complex. Business strategy, operations to driving performance and increasing stakeholder value are all being looked at from a new lens.

Illuminar conducted a CFO roundtable recently to get leading CFO’s to discuss on the topic of digital transformation. This edition of Illuminar provides insights from this event, in the form of an easily digestible infographic, to present a summary of the discussions.

This was a unique, one of its kind event to discuss a CFO’s perspectives on this topic. Close to 20 CFO’s of leading companies shared experiences and good practices in intensive focus group discussions on four themes namely – Digital in the context of Innovation, Customer Engagement, Operational Efficiency and Governance.

There were deep-dive discussions and experience sharing on many topics. The importance of change management was emphasized in almost every session. It was discussed that digital is all about people and getting the buy-in of people is imperative to any transformation. Skill re-balancing will happen and user adoption is critical. It was also agreed that the investment in any digital initiative needs to result in performance improvements. More detailed discussions were held on how digital business is creating a profoundly different security and risk environment across the enterprise. It was discussed that the survival in digital world mandates C-level involvement and CIO/ CTO is part of leadership. It was agreed that the CFO’s role and involvement across the lifecycle, right from idea to execution is very critical to realize returns from digital initiatives. Convincing members of the board and the CEO means understanding and being able to clearly articulate the return of investment from such initiatives. This is something most CFO’s struggle with but nevertheless something that needs that needs to be done anyways.

Says Pratima Ram, Former Director and CEO at India Infoline, “The computing capacity has increased significantly and is much faster. The progress of Machine-learning algorithms and development of deep learning-based on neural networks are really catalysts of transformation digital technology. The CFO along with CIO needs to play an evangelist role with the CEO and other business heads for digital transformation”. Anuj Kalra, CFO of Carl Zeiss India stated “Digital Transformation is like Tsunami which has an impact across the society. Only difference is that the impact here is strategic and very positive. The future shift is very clear”.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Sameer Agarwal , CFO Manipal Health Enterprises stated “Data is the new oil for the world and digital technologies are enabler which makes the “Engine” – the Organization run faster and better”. Some very interesting insights from Sameer on the changing landscape of healthcare with digital. He mentioned that the digital health framework is being strengthened in the form of electronic health records, integrated analytics, personalized healthcare, remote patient monitoring, continuous monitoring for critical care and telemedicine. The importance of patient privacy cannot be undermined. He also mentioned that contrary to popular perception that “Bigger is always better, keeping it simple and understanding what the patient really wants is always core to success”.

Please click on this link for the complete event round up and summary of what the CFO's of some leading enterprises in India are thinking on this topic -