Options For CFO Leadership

A Recent Survey Found That Nearly 1 in 3 CFOs Believe Layoffs Are Imminent, But Are There Other Options? What Should You, as a Financial Leader, Prioritize?

PCW surveyed CFOs to discover more about how they’re handling the coronavirus pandemic. The results weren’t overly surprising given the current circumstances:

  • Nearly 1 in 3 are expecting layoffs in the next month
  • 72% believe that COVID-19 has the potential to impact operations significantly
  • 58% are considering pushing back or canceling planned investments
  • 68% say remote work will make their company better in the long-run

So what can we take away from this? Well, naturally, CFOs are looking for ways to cut costs – and this means lessening their spending on people, investments, and on-premises work. But despite many believing layoffs are the right choice, it’s important to consider the role people play in any given organization.

An organization is only as valuable as its people

While a range of factors outside of anyone’s control will impact short-term cash flow, the value of an organization, on a long-term level, lies in its human capital. Many CFOs plan to continue remote work, which is crucial to allowing as many people as possible to maintain employment within the organization. Remote work allows for many cost-cutting benefits:

  • Less costly real estate space required – meaning fewer costs associated with maintaining and upkeeping a large office
  • Less commute time, which translates to more time spent productively working on tasks and workloads
  • Less risk of employees leaving as most people feel more comfortable, safe, and happy working from home
  • Less reliance on on-premises technology, which can be expensive to purchase up front, upgrade, maintain, and troubleshoot.

But CFOs will need to find ways to adapt to working from home without sacrificing efficiency or security against threats. They will need to understand the tools available to them, implement them correctly, and support their people in using them. This can include:

  • VoIP systems offer the ability to access your work line from any device – making and receiving calls over the internet with enterprise-grade features
  • Virtual private network (VPN) technology that creates a secure, encrypted tunnel for employees accessing the network
  • Cloud-based productivity suites, such as Microsoft 365, that offer access to email, contacts, calendars, video conferencing through Microsoft Teams, and more
  • Enterprise-grade security measures, including anti-virus software, firewalls, web filtering, encryption, and more to protect home computers and laptops

Naturally, CFOs have a range of priorities right now – but going into the future, it’s integral to make technology decisions that position the organization for greater resiliency and agility to respond to the market.

It’s time to lead through the crisis and beyond it

CFOs are leading through the crisis, there’s no doubt about that, but that leadership will be key as we see lockdowns lifted across the world. They will be taking many short-term measures to handle the following issues:

  • Cash flow
  • Liquidity
  • Supply chains

But now, we’re transitioning out of crisis mode and into planning mode. Long-term value creation must be a top priority, which means understanding and prioritizing factors that will drive survival well beyond the pandemic. Here are our recommendations:

Take advantage of outsourcing technology services and support

Outsourcing technology services and support, as opposed to hiring internally, will become critical as a way to save on the costs associated with hiring internally, including salaries, benefits, vacation time, and more. Outsourcing allows you to:

  • Pay a flat-rate monthly fee for all the ongoing services and support necessary to keep running
  • Avoid the high unexpected costs associated with troubleshooting or resolving technology issues
  • Rely on a proactive approach that minimizes the risk of downtime and malware infections

Embrace remote access and cloud-based tools

Many organizations are planning to continue embracing remote work as a way to cut costs. This has the added benefit of eliminating the reliance on on-premises systems. The cloud offers access to data, applications, and systems from any device or location – meaning you’re able to eliminate costs associated with purchasing, upgrading, and maintaining technology.

Plus, the cloud typically features built-in security measures that are much more advanced than the average organization can afford, such as:

  • Enterprise-grade encryption
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Around-the-clock monitoring
  • And much more

CFOs will be navigating a lot of tough technology decisions. We can help. Reach out to us via the chatbox or give us a call at (516) 207-1839.