Tech skills compete with finance savvy in what leadership wants in CFOs

A new breed of CFO is needed as organizations prioritize technology skills along with financial experience, research from advisory services and technology companies shows.

“It’s becoming evident that CFOs with non-traditional skills or responsibilities are needed to shape a successful future,” says a report from Sage, a technology company that polled 1,900 finance leaders across industries and countries. “The CFO has become a hub of business information, diversifying their expertise, recruiting the right talent and ensuring they implement emerging technologies and purpose-driven programs to remove friction and deliver insights.”

The redefinition of CFO duties means U.S. finance leaders are including in their top priorities the upgrading of technology solutions to drive digitalization, integrating emerging technologies into their company and developing products and services.

The view of CFOs as financial purists has given way to the need to be well versed in other skills, including HR, operations and sales and marketing, the report says. 

For tech-savvy CFOs, the future is full of opportunities, not roadblocks. Almost 60% say they feel embedded into nearly every aspect of business operations and almost two in five expect AI and machine learning to have a major impact on their organization’s ability to create or maintain a competitive advantage.