CFOs have also gotten the clear message that the number one strategic priority is supporting the enterprise with a competitive cost structure. Interestingly, most of the other strategic priorities cited by CFOs in 2012 are not about cost, but rather about supporting enterprise growth and driving more value from existing resources. These include: improving finance's analytic, modeling, and forecasting capability; maximizing return on existing technology investment; and supporting process management across organizational boundaries. This is expected to translate into pressure to develop capabilities to support the enterprise in its globalization efforts and increase the globalization of many finance activities themselves.The Hackett Group's research also recommended that companies be prepared to adapt their business models and priorities in response to economic changes in regional global markets. This will require companies to fully understand the benefit that comes from adopting global standards and organizational models that allow optimal execution by leveraging both skill and scale more broadly. In addition, the increased volatility in demand across global regions has made it more critical than ever for companies to truly understand how each region should operate while still gaining the advantages that comes from a global process operating platform. The Hackett Group's research found that the globalization trend will continue to accelerate in 2012 and beyond, for finance and also for other business service areas. If their current plans are successful, companies will more than triple the level of globalization in business functions within the next two to three years. The finance areas with the most aggressive plans for globalization are those which are the least globalized today, such as process design/build (where globalization is expected to increase by over 70 percent), indicating that an enormous amount of work needs to be accomplished in a very short time period. In addition, while most companies with global finance ownership today are working at a functional level, the ambition is to greatly promote global process ownership at a cross-functional level. This will require dramatic changes in the way work is organized and transactions are executed. Companies need to holistically revise their business models to incorporate the capabilities needed to adapt to local or regional economic changes within a global operating framework.
The full study is available for complimentary download (with registration) at: http://www.thehackettgroup.com/research/2012/key2012fn/About The Hackett Group The Hackett Group (NASDAQ: HCKT), a global strategic business advisory and operations improvement consulting firm, is a leader in best practice advisory, business benchmarking, and transformation consulting services including strategy and operations, working capital management, and globalization advice. Utilizing best practices and implementation insights from more than 7,500 benchmarking studies, executives use The Hackett Group's empirically-based approach to quickly define and implement initiatives that enable world-class performance. Through its REL group, The Hackett Group offers working capital solutions focused on delivering significant cash flow improvements. Through its Archstone Consulting group, The Hackett Group offers Strategy & Operations consulting services in the Consumer and Industrial Products, Pharmaceutical, Manufacturing, and Financial Services industry sectors. Through its Hackett Technology Solutions group, The Hackett Group offers business application consulting services that help maximize returns on IT investments. The Hackett Group has completed benchmark studies with over 2,800 major corporations and government agencies, including 97% of the Dow Jones Industrials, 86% of the Fortune 100, 90% of the DAX 30 and 48% of the FTSE 100. More information on The Hackett Group is available: by phone at (770) 225-7300; by e-mail at email@example.com.