CFOs are likely to maintain or increase enterprise digital investments in the next two years even if inflation persists, according to a Gartner survey of 199 senior finance leaders on May 13, 2022.
- At the enterprise level, 46% of respondents said they are scaling up their plans of enterprise digital investments, while 32% said that no changes were planned
- The findings come even as CFOs indicate they are planning cost reductions in other areas of the business if inflation persists this year.
Companies that drive the right enterprise digital investments have 2.7x higher customer retention, 1.6x higher customer satisfaction rates, and 1.9x higher average order value, said Alexander Bant, chief of research in the Gartner Finance practice.
“Leading digital companies are also 3x more likely to achieve above-industry revenue and margin growth,” he noted. “We’ve also found that 67% of consumers will pay more for a great digital experience.”
A plan to scale up digital investments in the finance function
Within their own functions, CFOs plan to spend even more aggressively on technology, with 52% of CFOs scaling up digital investments, while 38% said they intend to protect their current investment levels, survey results indicate.
CFOs plan to accelerate the momentum in digital transformation investments that were launched in earnest at the start of the pandemic, in line with Gartner’s IT Spending Forecast of an overall increase in worldwide IT spending in 2022, the firm observed.
According to Bant, inflation is a new catalyst driving CFOs to ramp up digital investments with the aim of lowering the cost of doing business and identifying new sources of profitability.
“CFOs know to never waste a crisis or downturn. It’s a time to reinvent, make better investments, and reduce inefficiencies,” said Bant. “Winners on the other side of this cycle will have continued to accelerate the right digital initiatives across their organisation even as there are mounting pressures on profitability.”
In addition, CFOs’ increasing focus on automation as an inflation mitigation strategy aligns with findings from Gartner’s Finance Technology Innovations Survey, which polled finance leaders on their investment plans for specific finance technologies over the next two years, the firm pointed out.
The data indicated a planned increase in investment in RPA, reporting automation and process mining, technologies critical to streamlining routine processes and freeing up staff to focus on higher value activities and increased productivity, Gartner added.