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What finance technologies should CFOs keep on their radar?

The finance horizon is filled with technology disruptions. Here's a look at a few, with some expert advice on how they will likely affect the enterprise.

The different finance technologies people are using to make payments is the first area. The second includes big data, cloud and analytics -- being able to take lots and lots of data and find out what's going on in your business, the patterns and whatever else you want to know. The third is being aware of different generations.

If you're marketing to seniors versus 15-year-olds, it's a whole different method of how each expects to buy things. That's part of the financial considerations, but it also affects pricing and how you get things manufactured. Part of this is marketing, as well, and there's always overlap in the various departments. But the financial guys should be able to direct the company on how to deal with these issues.

There will also be financial issues from people buying things from their cars, Fitbit-type devices and so on. They're already doing these things, but it's going to be more prevalent. Finance technologies that enable new payment methods are going to have more of an effect. How are you going to manage?

Instead of just dealing with American Express, Visa and MasterCard, you may have to deal with 14 different payers. What does that do to your business? I don't know how many there are going to be; I don't think anybody knows right now. But the phone companies are going to want a cut of this, and the banks are going to want a cut of this, so it becomes a very complex and layered approach.

As the CFO, you really need to advise the company on the best way to address all of these changes. Doing that successfully depends on knowing finances, but also on what finance technologies are coming down the road and how to use them strategically.

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This was last published in July 2016

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