Research calls for ‘new breed of executive’ to step up on digital transformation

A new report from Robert Half UK argues that payroll and accounts jobs are highly likely to face automation by 2022.

The study, titled ‘Digital Transformation and the Future of Hiring’, polled more than 200 interviews with senior finance executives, and found that 87% of executives recognised the positive impact a growing reliance on technology holds for organisations.

According to respondents, digital processes will be extended to manual data entry tasks, with financial modelling, generating financial reports, and project management and reporting most likely to face the chop.

The report also assessed the changes this has to the C-suite. Naturally, benefits such as improved productivity and efficiency, and better decision making, are seen as the major boons of moving to a digital transformation initiative. Given the tasks that could be automated – as this publication has previously reported on – the report agrees that employees could and should be ‘freed up’ for more creative roles leading to ‘more fulfilling careers in the long-term’.

As a result, Robert Half advocates a ‘new breed of executive’ to step forward. It’s time to shape up or ship out; the CIO is no longer the only person who can understand the full effects of digital. According to PwC’s Digital IQ study earlier this year, there is still something of a gap; 95% of UK firms approved of their CIOs compared to 85% for Europe, but this drops down to 83% and 60% respectively for the CEO, and 55% and 54% respectively for the rest of the organisation.

“Digitalisation will offer a new approach where labour and time-intensive processes can be shifted to allow for more value-added work to take place,” said Matt Weston, director at Robert Half UK.

“Automation is impacting traditional business functions in a big way. Finance is no exception and professionals will need to be prepared to hold a more prominent and integrated influence on the wider business, gaining new skills that will see them through the technological shift.”

You can find out more and read the full report here (registration required).

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