2013 Chief Financial Officer Leadership Think Tank: Drew Hofler, Director, Solutions Marketing, Ariba

Drew Hofler, Director of Solutions Marketing at Ariba, highlighted the importance of business networks during his presentation at the 2013 Chief Financial Officer Leadership Think Tank in Chicago on July 17. According to Hofler, networking between clients and company leaders helps promote collaboration and sharing and can lead to long-lasting partnerships.

Business networks allow organizations to make the most of their interactions with clients, Hofler said. In addition, he noted that companies should recognize the immediate and long-term benefits of business networks to effectively manage their everyday operations: "Business networks are designed to create the ability to share the right information with the right people at the right time to make the right decisions and drive the right results. Business networks come in and allow a multiple user, many-to-many connection through one single spot where multiple suppliers can connect with multiple buyers. Buyers can communicate multiple processes through one central network hub and share that information within their organization through the hub and have everybody have access to the relevant information that they need. This is what business networks are trying to fix and are fixing very successfully, in some ways."

Hofler acknowledged that a networked economy can have far-flung effects. In fact, he stated that networking may allow business leaders to make better decisions, as they will be able to automate many standard processes and reduce their operating costs for years to come: "There are a lot of other ways to connect to the networked economy, but what I want to get you thinking about is if the right information is brought to the right people at the right time it can really help them make the right decisions and drive the right results for you."