Talent concerns have been at the top of CFOs’ most worrisome risk lists for years. This year is no different, according to Deloitte’s third quarter rankings in their CFO Signals survey, which captures perspective from 160 finance leaders in North America’s largest companies. In particular, these leaders voiced concerns around securing top talent as skilled labor markets tighten.

But while improving company performance through talent acquisition is critical, there is no sign that an easing hiring dynamic is going to materialize and save the day. Therefore, it is essential that leaders look for other ways to drive improvement – ways that don’t require finding, assessing, hiring and training more bodies as a global talent shortage persists. One way is by taking advantage of technological innovation and software advancements that allow workers and teams to do more, with less. For many companies, digital capabilities investment is the perfect antidote to overtaxed internal HR systems.

CFOs need to lead in maximizing the potential of people, their greatest assets, by supporting the application of innovation, collaboration and productivity enhancing tools. They can work with IT, asking: how can we best use technology to address performance in a critical line of business, instead of adding more bodies to an initiative?

While there are myriad areas to apply technology to maximize available talent, here are two distinct focus areas:

Expanding Worker Mobility & Productivity

"Many of these technologies provide the ability to exponentially advance the CFO’s agenda."

Matt Schwenderman, a Deloitte principal

Matt Schwenderman, a Deloitte principal and leader of the company’s Performance Management Technology practice acknowledges how mobility, or the usage of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets and access to corporate data to allow workers to work from anywhere, can support a business’ needs. This extends to self-service in reporting, remote enablement of business processes and “at the point” analytics for decision support. As well, research notes that employees with mobility privileges, and who are empowered to use their own devices for work purposes, are more accessible and ultimately more productive with heightened creativity, innovation and better workplace collaboration.

A requirement of productivity is technology that makes employees able to do more with less; less time, less commute, less friction, less dependencies. Consider how communication solutions to enhance mobility and productivity can deliver this in the context of business. Video conferencing solutions that eliminate needs for offsite meetings and travel expenses, instant messaging tools that allow rapid collaboration instead of email overload, are a few examples. Investing in the right tools can help leaders extract even more value from existing headcount.

Empower Decision Making with Data

Others are finding productivity gains and time-to-decision making improvement by investing in visualization tools. These help employees see, and understand, the data essential to job success. By putting complex data into familiar visual forms that are easily consumable, improved decision making becomes the new normal. These tools also support cultures of self-service and reduce dependencies on IT or reporting staff to get work done. These all factor into major productivity enhancements.

Today’s CFOs must lead digital business model improvements. As central participants in the strategic, financial, information, servicing and implementation processes, they can support the allocation of resources toward technology that make an organization’s people collectively better.

This isn’t just about finding and acquiring new technology, however.

It requires concerted effort to find, budget, negotiate and apply technology internally.

It requires diligence to find where software is deployed and being used well inside the organization to expand on successful uses cases.

It requires maintenance of license usage and ownership accountability to ensure that the SaaS tools being used don’t become ignored and bloat the budget.

Cleanshelf can partner with CFOs in this.

As our customer growth continues, the amount and variety of spend under management grows too. We maintain access to historical pricing and usage pattern data across a growing number of vendors. This information can bring the savings and productivity insights that top CFOs need. As well, we have best-in-class tools to help customers find where underutilization is happening. Instead of redundant deployments and wasted spend, we help you get the most of out of your dollars and your people.

If you’re interested in making SaaS an even greater advantage in your organization, contact us today for a demo.

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