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Almost Two-Thirds of CFOs Expect Digital Transformation to Impact Employment

The majority of CFOs (65%) expect digital transformation to significantly reduce the number of jobs in the financial services industry, according to the results of the 2019 FinTech Barometer, an annual survey conducted by order-to-cash specialist Onguard. 

CFOs are also concerned about their own job security. In fact, 38% of them believe their job will no longer exist in its current form ten years from now. This is a substantial increase from last year, when only 6% of the respondents reported job loss fears. Those below director level are more pessimistic. Over half (57%) of financial managers anticipate the disappearance of financial jobs in general. This includes their own jobs, since almost a quarter (23%) of them believe their current job will no longer exist ten years from now.

Finance professional skills

The belief that finance professional jobs are at risk is down to the rapid development of new technologies. Jobs are changing and the financial industry requires different skills. 65% of the finance professionals who responded to the survey anticipate having to develop analytical skills. In the near future, they will need these skills to interpret and analyse data as part of the digital transformation. Skills seen as less important in the short term are communication skills (54%), leadership qualities (36%) and programming skills (13%).

65% of the finance professionals who responded to the survey anticipate having to develop analytical skills.

Bert van der Zwan, CEO at Onguard, commented:

“Each new era changes the way things are done and jobs evolve accordingly. We see the same thing happening in this era of digital transformation. Companies have been automating routine administrative tasks for some time which is reducing the amount of back office work done by people.

So, back office jobs will be the first to disappear. People will still be needed, but not to do what robots can do perfectly 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Jobs that can be done by robots have no future. To change and evolve with the industry, finance professionals will find that developing new skills is a must.”

Gege Gatt, CEO of EBO, told TFT the importance of embracing new technology:

“Education and understanding are probably the most important things that will prepare the workforce for the rise of AI. Many people will fear that AI will ‘steal their job’, but this is a misconception about the role of AI and the way it should be implemented into a business.

AI should be about augmenting workers’ roles, not taking them over. Ensuring that people understand this, and that they know about the ways in which AI can make their jobs easier, is a really important step in generating the excitement around AI we want and need to see.”

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