Microsoft Advises CFOS to Embrace Technology Innovation

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Nosa Alekhuogie

Microsoft has advised chief financial officers (CFOs) and Chief Operations Officers (COO) to embrace technology transformation being introduced into modern financial transactions. According to the company, the move was also to re-affirm its commitment to streamlining and enabling digital transformation in the financial services industry.

In partnership with Harvard Business Review, Microsoft hosted a round table with the view of educating and highlighting how advanced technologies can and have presented exceptional change to the financial industry.

The event, which was held in Lagos, was targeted at CFO and COO. It equally explored the state of the financial sector in Lagos and also provided insight into how CFOs and COOs have become an integral part of the decision-making and roll out processes of new innovative and advanced technologies in their organisations.

Financial Service Industry Director, Microsoft MEA Multi-Country Cluster – North, West, East and Southern Africa, Levant and Pakistan countries, Mr. Mayowa Agboade, explained that organisations must be aware of the ‘uncomfortable’ shift in roles that has presented itself in the face of digital change.

“The role of today’s CFOs and finance executives needs to be broader and requires an increased appreciation of technology. The emergence of the digital age is fundamentally changing the priorities and roles of today’s finance executives with security at its core.

“While traditional roles that involve cost reduction as well as sourcing new revenue streams remain at the core of the CFO and COO function, exploring new opportunities for growth has emerged to the fore. This disruption has been enabled through the integration of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, mixed reality and block-chain.

“As with any industry, if you analyse the financial sector, the challenges present ‘bottlenecks’ to realising full potential output. Within financial services, there are inadequate tools for anticipating expanding business complexities, processes that are prone to error, growing threats, expanding risks and ever-increasing regulations. These are all causes for concern,” he said.

Speaking further, he said: “Some of the solutions made available for these issues come from applying technologies such as machine learning for revenue forecasting. Similarly, employing predictive analytics for risk management can help manage reputation and ultimately save costs.

“In order to remain competitive and foster an environment that is agile to the change brought about by digital transformation, finance executives have to lead their companies to reach goals around growth, profitability and productivity. This is important as they implement technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Cloud.

“We always value connecting with members of the C-suite face to face as this gives us the opportunity to listen to them and understand their business concerns. We also look forward to engaging together to help unlock value of digital transformation. We look forward to the change today’s discussions will lead to and will continue working hand in hand to ensure these organisations achieve more.”

Also speaking on digital transformation, he noted that it is crucial because it is inevitable in today’s world especially in the financial sector.
“ We are partnering actively with the government agencies around technology, we are working together to see how to ensure that whatever technology is being used is legal and allowed,” Mayowa added.