Retailers are digital businesses. Exploiting ever-increasing amounts of data with insight-generating analytics tools, retail businesses offer multichannel, customer-centric products and services. This requires sophisticated logistics and supply-chain management.
Automation technologies underpin the sector’s digitalization—and nowhere more so than in the finance functions of leading retailers. Finance functions throughout retail increasingly recognize the potential of automation: first, to drive efficiency and quality in their own function, freeing up staff from manual tasks for activities that will add greater value; and second, to enable finance to take its place at the center of the data-driven organization.
Capgemini’s latest research suggests that retailers are very clear about the potential business impact of greater automation in finance. Senior finance leaders in retail strongly believe—to a greater extent than executives in any other sector—that they must now play a more strategic role within their business. And they see automation as a way to do exactly that.
More than two-thirds of the retailers in this research (69%) now have an overall vision of how they want to transform automation in the finance function, which puts them well ahead of any other sector surveyed. Meanwhile, more than a third of executives in the sector (38%) say their organization has now agreed a strategy for delivering this automation; only consumer products firms have moved more quickly.
But the job is not complete. The research suggests that more retailers now need to move from a vision for transformation to implementation. And retailers themselves concede that even where initiatives have been implemented, they have yet to secure all the benefits they want from automation—particularly in freeing up resources for higher-value activities.
What does the research results tell us about how retail businesses are handling the shift to finance automation?
- They must set a roadmap for moving from a vision for finance automation to implementation.
- Moving beyond the operational benefits of automation to longer-term, strategic gains is a critical next step.
- They need to prioritize resolving skills shortages.
- They must confront their well-founded fears about security.
- They need to think hard about how to address the skills shortage in automation technology.
Read the full report to learn how intelligent automation is transforming finance in the retail sector.
Read our main “Reimagining finance for the digital age” report that surveys 500 senior finance executives in Europe and North America about how intelligent automation is transforming the finance function.