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CFOs and other financial leaders are optimistic about the economic recovery on the horizon: three quarters (73%) expect a return to normal growth by the end of 2021, according to the latest report on the corporate financial decision-making from OneStream, a provider of enterprise performance management solutions for midsize and large businesses. Companies have significantly increased their investment and use of data analytics tools over the past year, according to the report.
OneStream’s study targeted finance executives across North America and identified factors driving their priorities, budgets and technology adoption plans for 2021. The survey found that the COVID-19 pandemic has created an increased need for agile forecasting, predictive planning and digital transformation. The ability to quickly re-forecast budgets and shift workflows has become essential.
The 2021 report found that finance leaders have significantly increased their investment and use of data analytics tools. Businesses have generally invested in artificial intelligence (59%) and increased their use of cloud-based planning and reporting solutions (65%). Most companies already use (69%) or plan to use (18%) low-code development platforms, which allow business users and citizen developers to take on new roles while bypassing the requirements of complicated coding. For back-to-office budgets, data privacy tools are the most common priority (18%), followed by hybrid cloud technologies.
Compare the results with OneStream’s 2020 Enterprise Finance Decision Report, where less than half (46%) of finance executives said they regularly use cloud-based solutions, while less than a quarter use machine learning (21%) and artificial intelligence (20%). ) solutions.
Many finance executives are assessing their workforce, technology, and supply chain needs for a post-pandemic reality. However, the political and social landscape has also had a significant impact on investment decisions, causing leaders to prioritize sustainability and diversity initiatives as well.
The commissioned study, conducted by Hanover Research in April 2021, collected information from 340 financial decision makers in the United States, Canada and Mexico. All individuals are in a senior position (C-level executive (CFO), vice president, director, controller) in finance. Respondents work in companies across many industries and with varying revenues, with 24% employed by companies with annual revenue over $1 billion.
Read the full OneStream Enterprise Financial Decision-Making Report 2021—North America.
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