Organizations Need Greater Value from Financial and Operating Data in 2014

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An overwhelming majority of U.S. senior finance executives (96 percent) say their organizations will need to extract much greater value from financial and operating data in 2014. And yet, executives continue to report cautious investment plans in IT, especially for newer technologies such as big data analytics and cloud storage tools.

Those are among the findings of recent report by American Express Co. and CFO Research Services, which surveyed 100 senior finance executives based in the U.S. and 54 in the U.K. The executives were surveyed online and via interviews in September 2013.

When considering where IT improvements could offer the most value to growth plans, nearly half of the respondents (48 percent) cite cutting costs, while the same percentage cite effectiveness through analytical tools as the most valuable way IT can contribute to growth.

To that end, 40 percent of the executives say they plan to increase spending on IT by 10 percent or more over the next year. However, while many senior finance executives plan to increase IT spending, only 8 percent plan to increase it by 30 percent or more.

"CFOs continue to seek out technology which allows them to improve business performance and increase employee productivity," Jay Cary, vice president, digital, Global Corporate Payments at American Express, said in a statement. "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.”

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