A CFO’s Imperatives During The COVID-19 Pandemic
CFOs are playing an integral role in responding to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic – a crisis that took everyone by surprise. We’ve all been forced to embrace remote work on short notice. For many, it’s been a difficult transition with some surprising benefits, such as decreased costs, greater productivity, and more efficiency amongst employees. During the coronavirus pandemic, CFOs have been dealing with various priorities:
- Forecasting cash collections from the latest sales and collecting payments
- Reviewing options to raise capital, such as leveraging available lines of credit
- Communicating with investors and the board of directors frequently
- Assessing all potential scenarios that may impact the company’s finances
- And much, much more
Most importantly, CFOs have been working alongside other c-level executives to find ways to continue operating, and in turn, bringing revenue in the doors. Remote work has been invaluable in this respect – so much so that many CFOs are planning to continue remote work, despite lockdowns being lifted across the states.
Gartner surveyed 317 CFOs and found some pretty interesting results in regards to remote work:
- 74% of CFOs have plans to move previously on-premises employees to remote work post-coronavirus.
- 81% of CFOs plan to exceed their contractual obligations to hourly workers via remote work to offer flexible schedules.
- 13% of CFOs have already cut real estate expenses, with another 9% planning to do the same.
Remote Work Is Here To Stay
It’s clear: remote work is here to stay. But what else do CFOs need to be doing right now to prepare for the future? Technology has proven to be vital in times like this. CFOs must work to improve their digital capabilities to stay ahead in a world of social distancing that creates:
- Disruptions throughout supply chains
- Changes to purchasing behavior
- Less traffic within physical locations
We recommend CFOs keep the following imperatives on the top of their priority list in the coming months:
Create A Technology Budget
Every business should have a crisis-focused technology budget that allows for hardware and software to be purchased as needed. This is particularly important for organizations that are embracing remote work for the first time.
Prepare For A Cloud-First Approach
Now is the time where businesses simply can’t afford to overlook the cloud, which offers anytime, anywhere access to systems, data, and applications. The cloud lets you scale up or down as needed, gives you more security measures, and keeps your employees connected.
Keep Security As Strong As Possible
All business applications and systems should be secured with enterprise-grade measures and tight access control settings. Cybercrime has risen drastically since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and remote workers are at a greater risk.
Provide Support For Remote Workers
Your remote workers may still experience technology challenges, such as software configuration issues or slow performance. If this happens, they need access to a technology services company that provides onsite or remote support as needed.
Be Prepared For Technology Supply Chain Disruption
If you don’t have a technology roadmap that outlines the end-of-support date for systems, as well as when replacements or upgrades need to be purchased, it’s important to prepare this information, so you’re not left struggling to procure what’s needed due to disruptions.
Focus On Investing In Innovative Technologies
Going forward, it’s important to keep investing in innovative technologies, such as automation or artificial intelligence, to help you achieve better business outcomes, despite a downturn economy. This can help you improve efficiency, and in turn, become more competitive.
Technology must become a top priority
It’s been said before that every company is a technology company. Why? Because every company needs technology to make, market, and sell their products and services. This is especially true now that we’re all embracing the concept of social distancing. In turn, the internet has become an even more important resource when it comes to acquiring products and services.
It’s time to digitize your business, and in particular, your remote work strategy to make sure you’re operating as efficiently as possible. Automation, for instance, can help you cut costs and boost productivity, while in turn, offering a buffer from having to shut down in the event of future disruption.