Stan Lepeak, Director and Head of Global Research and Thought Leadership at KPMG, discussed "disruption" and what it means for chief financial officers during his presentation at the 2015 CFO Think Tank: Spotlight on Business Insights in New York on May 7. In his presentation, Lepeak noted that successful firms are usually flexible, and as such, enjoy disruption.
According to Lepeak, disruption refers to both challenges and opportunities for organizations of all sizes. Lepeak noted that data and analytics once were considered challenges for organizations, but new data and analytics tools have quickly created additional opportunities for firms across the globe. And as a result, organizations can leverage data and analytics tools to improve their operations: "Data and analytics innovative technology [were big enablers]. The point was that if you look at something that’s normally viewed as a challenge, it was being turned into an opportunity and in particular information technology in a variety of different instantiations was what was viewed as the enabler to be able to do this."
In addition, Lepeak noted that disruption typically enables organizations to embrace differentiation. And by doing so, Lepeak said an organization can use disruption to gain a competitive advantage over its rivals. Lepeak also pointed out that CFOs who embrace technology can leverage best-in-class tools to analyze data that could help them succeed in today's highly competitive global marketplace: "We're going to shorten the decision making process; we're going to have less people involved with it. We're going to have different people involved with it. We may need to go out and look at the leadership and the business units and recognize that this person has a lot of experience and a lot of gut instinct, but they're not the person that we really need when it comes time to analyzing a lot of data in real time."