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Finance of the future at Oracle Modern Business

Modern Business Experience, presented by Oracle, took place from 1-2 February to provide insight and intelligence from thought leaders on the modern business world. The event schedule had two breakout sessions for finance and accounting.

The event held an innovation showcase in the Excel London centre, which had areas demonstrating technology, innovation and cloud software. It was sponsored by ‘diamond’ level Deloitte and also KPMG, as well as other companies such as IBM and Symantec. The physicist Professor Brian Cox was the keynote speaker at the main event.

According to a Deloitte CIO survey, 64% believe cloud technology will have a significant impact on their business in the next two years, and by 2020 global spending on cloud services is predicted to equal what is spend on traditional IT.

Powering Finance into 2020

One of the finance seminars was led by Patrick Fenton, KPMG Financial Management Advisory. The presentation ‘Powering Finance into 2020’ discussed key topics in the future for finance and accountancy.

Global challenges were stated such as Brexit and the increasing protectionism and political uncertainty that it has caused, as well as low inflation, tepid investment and sluggish productivity growth.

The risks for future finance are slower growth, political uncertainty and disruptive technology. The opportunities are innovation, productivity, lower prices, job creation and social impact.

“Finance has a critical role in business services and its successes. The impact of social change and technology on finance will be high over the next few years,” said Fenton. “How we work should be reorganised, to handle disruptive technology and data. Digitisation will shape future business strategies and structures.”

The trends that were discussed included;

  • Disruptive technology; which looked at cognitive automation, agile performance, and an integrated cloud.
  • Data enabled performances; which revealed the process from insights to outcomes, the finance goals that are aligned with business goals (KPI’s), democratisation of data, and the role of the chief data officer.
  • The reorganisation of “how we work” looked at centres of expertise, talent management, crowd working and integrated business services.

According to the data provided in the presentation, 30% of corporate jobs could be replaced by robots and 70% of finance activities could be impacted by Digital Labour.

Fenton added: “In order to become a chief performance officer the cloud must be embraced, data must be ‘owned’, the everyday must be automated and talent must be retained, build the analytical engine and make transformation a reality.”

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