The insurance company CFO’s role is changing at high speed. Insurance CFOs have long been responsible for producing the numbers and managing technology costs. But our new research shows that CFOs are not only pushing the boundaries of automation, they are increasingly harnessing data to enhance analysis and generate insights.

We found that CFOs are also looking beyond the borders of the finance function, proposing and shaping business models throughout the enterprise. And, in many cases, they’re leading the charge in deciding how to invest in digital, guiding their organization into the next phase of profitable growth.

We surveyed hundreds of CFOs and up-and-coming finance professionals and interviewed leaders from top global companies across multiple industries to uncover CFOs’ ambitions, priorities and the challenges they confront.

We found that for the Insurance CFOs surveyed they are being asked to:

  • Create more revenue streams;
  • Manage down total costs;
  • Share insights across business functions;
  • Advise the CEO;
  • Improve risk and compliance;
  • Increase enterprise value; and
  • Steward the digitalization of the entire enterprise.

This presents a big opportunity for insurance CFOs. In the past, some insurers hesitated before jumping into digitalization, and this restricted the value they could obtain from data. But if the CFO defines the economic model in support of investment, and demonstrates a real commitment to change, it makes digitalization more achievable.

Digitalization won’t be easy. To help their organizations make needed changes, CFOs should come to grips with new technology and take ownership of data across the enterprise. The recruitment and retention of talent is another complex issue needing attention.

One encouraging sign is that nearly half (45 percent) of insurance CFOs surveyed as part of “The CFO Reimagined: from driving value to building the digital enterprise” study said that insight into new technologies is a key requirement for their role. That was more than in any other industry surveyed. Insurance CFOs are also highly likely to set time aside to explore the impact of disruptive technologies on the business. They see this as a growing requirement for their role and want to get involved in technology initiatives as early as possible.

In the next blog in this series, we will look in more detail at a key issue facing insurance company CFOs as they guide their companies into the digital future: the ownership of data and analytics.

To learn more:   

Click here to download the full multi-industry study on the changing role of the CFO.

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