Survey: Financial executives plan to extract more from financial, operating data

american expressA recent survey of senior finance executives showed that 96 percent expect to extract more from financial and operating data next year, though many continue to report cautious investment plans in technology.

Nearly half—or 48 percent—of those surveyed by American Express and CFO Research said cutting costs could provide the most value to growth plans, while another 48 percent cite analytical tools as the most valuable technological contribution to growth.

Forty percent of executives said they plan to increase spending on information technology by 10 percent or more in the next year. Though many executives plan to increase IT spending, only eight percent plan to boost spending by 30 percent or more.

“CFOs continue to seek out technology which allows them to improve business performance and increase employee productivity,” Jay Cary, the vice president of digital global corporate payments at American Express, said. “Mobile in particular is leading the way – both because of CFOs’ familiarity with the technology and for the real-time benefits it offers employees. As data analysis grows in importance, we expect to see similar investments in big data analytics and cloud-based solutions.”

Three-quarters of respondents said their companies will need to capitalize on mobile technology over the next year, though only 11 percent said they have a formal plan to update mobile technology capabilities.

Only 23 percent of respondents said leveraging big data analytics will be among company priorities next year, and while 51 percent see an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage using big data analytics, 40 percent do not plan to increase spending in the category.

Additionally, 28 percent of executives said their companies will increase use of cloud computing next year, with 48 percent citing security concerns and another one-third voicing concerns related to third-party dependencies.

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