There’s no shortage of hype around social media and tablet devices, but finance executives show signs of being more sceptical than other professionals. When the Coda Financial Mind Meld recently questioned the validity of the prevailing thinking being promoted by large corporate public relations mechanisms, and by social media, responses indicated a disconnect between what finance executives are being told they want and what they think they want.
When asked about social media/collaboration, 38 percent of respondents said they did not think it would benefit financial operations at all. Users of financial software don’t seem to be buying into the latest hype over the iPad and other tablet devices either. When asked to select from a list of top financial software priorities (where better, more accessible mobile access/usage was offered as an option for meeting those priorities), 81 percent of those polled chose ‘Financial/Operational Analysis’ as their top priority. Better mobile accessibility/devices/capabilities and better tax/regulatory reporting capabilities took distant second and third places. Asked about their device of choice for performing their job 59 percent chose laptops, 29 percent chose the tethered desktop PC, and just 12 percent selected tablets.
‘I'm not surprised at all that financial executives are not embracing 'social,’ commented Cindy Jutras, analyst and president of Mint Jutras. ‘Much of the hype is about establishing a social presence for marketing and customer service, activities that are far removed from the office of the CFO.’ But once finance execs appreciate the increased visibility of data from enterprise transaction systems, and other less structured sources, she expects them to embrace social. And as for tablet devices? ‘When they feel confident they won't lose anything by leaving their laptops in the office, they will likely embrace tablets,’ too, she added.