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NZ CFOs comment on the impact of automation

11 Jun 2019
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The impact of digital transformation and automation initiatives on the workplace has been met with apprehension by some workers, especially as traditional job roles within the financial sector are set to change due to new technologies.

Finance professionals need to adapt their skill sets in order to face the challenges the future workplace will inevitably bring. In light of this, an independent survey of 100 New Zealand CFOs commissioned by specialised recruiter Robert Half reveals the characteristics finance professionals need to respond to the latest technology trends.

According to the survey, the top characteristics that have become more important for finance professionals with their changing role in the company as a result of digitisation and automation are openness to change or adaptability (52%), openness to new ideas (33%) and communication (32%).

The benefits of digitisation and automation for finance workers

While finance workers in the future workplace need to adjust their skill sets to adapt to new technologies, finance employers are already optimistic about the benefits on their team from digital transformation and automation initiatives.

In fact, more than half (57%) say digitisation/automation in the workplace has led to increased innovation, while 55% believe it has led to more effective communication in their team. Other cited benefits include increased collaboration between team members (54%) and enhanced team spirit (53%).

Robert Half New Zealand GM Megan Alexander says, “New Zealand’s finance sector is already experiencing the benefits of disruptive technologies, such as Robotic Process Automation, cloud technology and innovative interfaces designed for enhanced customers experience. However, the changing face of the industry means finance professionals need to adapt their skillsets – and fast.”

“Resilience, adaptability and willingness to learn new skills are required by employers across all industries, so it’s essential for professionals to remain responsive and open to change in the workplace. Professionals with these skills will not only ensure their future employability in a competitive job market but developing these competencies will also help make them invaluable to the organisations they work for.”

“It’s also the responsibility of employers to keep up with digitisation and the transformative changes in the modern workplace. New Zealand’s finance employers need to start developing the skills of their existing staff and new hires from their first day. Learning and development programs need to be an ongoing initiative to equip staff with the skills and ability to adapt to the workplace of the future.”