What CFOs Are Thinking About Finance Technology


In early July, Gartner and Financial Executives International (FEI) quietly released the results of their 2016 survey on Finance Technology. This was the 18th year of the FEI study and the 8th year this has been conducted in conjunction with Gartner. 

The survey was taken by 230 FEI members, but the new twist for this year was the inclusion of 712 respondents to the Gartner Financial and Strategic CPM magic quadrant surveys.  The purpose of this year’s survey was to compare the views on Finance technology between Finance executives and IT executives.  Here are some of the key findings of the survey.

Top areas for IT investment:

  • Organizations need improvements in business analytics processes.
  • Business analytics and enterprise business applications remain top investment initiatives, followed by security and big data. The responses were consistent between Finance and IT respondents.
  • The top 3 investment areas under business analytics were as follows:
    • Budgeting, planning, and forecasting
    • Performance measurement, scorecards, and dashboards
    • Financial consolidation and reporting
  • The top business analytics investment priorities were consistent between Finance and IT respondents.

Interest in the Cloud:

  • Interest in the cloud has increased significantly for business applications, and Finance demonstrated more interest in cloud-based applications than IT respondents.
  • The most in-demand cloud-based, Finance applications include the following:
    • Budgeting, planning, and forecasting
    • Management reporting
    • Financial modeling and/or business analytics
    • Financial consolidation and reporting
  • Over 80% of the organizations surveyed plan to use a public cloud for most of their transaction processing.

Evaluating Financial System Vendors

  • Postmodern approaches lead in the selection of business applications. This means buyers are less committed to a single-vendor approach for their business applications and are more interested in best of breed solutions.
  • In CPM specifically, only 9% of organizations will buy CPM solutions from their ERP vendor, down from 13% the prior year.
  • CFOs still have a major influence on technology choices, but IT decision-making continues to shift to business areas.

Cloud-Accounting.jpgThe results of this survey confirm what we’re seeing in the market – business analytics as a top priority, increasing demand for cloud-based CPM (a.k.a. EPM) applications, and decreasing reliance on ERP vendors for CPM capabilities.  We’re also seeing the CFO as the primary decision-maker for financial applications, often working in conjunction with the CIO and IT.

To learn more about the results of this study, Gartner clients can access the complete report on Gartner’s website.   To learn more about Host Analytics cloud-based EPM platform, check out our white paper “EPM in the Cloud.”

Download the White Paper

Posted by on September 6, 2016
Topics: CFO
John O'Rourke

John O’Rourke is Vice President of Strategic Marketing at Host Analytics. With a background in accounting and finance, John has over 30 years of experience in the software industry and 20 years of experience in EPM product marketing at Hyperion Solutions, Oracle and Host Analytics. He has worked with many customers and partners on financial reporting and planning initiatives and has spoken and written on many topics in EPM. John has also held positions in strategic marketing and product marketing at Dun & Bradstreet Software, Kenan Systems, and Decisyon. John has a BS degree in accounting from Bentley University and an MBA from Boston College.

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