5 Ways CFOs Can Turn Space into Strategy

In a 2016 CFO public sector survey, 90% of CFOs expressed that a key goal was harnessing the power of digital technology and analytics to improve business performance and manage risk. However, most CFOs don’t realize that their outdated methods for measuring the performance of their facilities and real estate is steeped in inefficient manual processes that lead to inaccurate data and reporting.

A huge opportunity exists to bring transparency to the organization as a key way of helping CFOs act as strategic advisors. A 2017 Harvard Business Review white paper tasks CFOs with shaping their companies’ strategic data and analytics vision—not only to keep up with current business best practices, but to ride the analytics wave into the future.

Implementing system-wide space management technology supports the C-suite in the following areas:

Set strategy with transparent data

The problem: A 2018 article from CFO.com explains that a top priority for CFOs is driving a culture of data. However, most CFOs don’t have access to the data they need to make sound financial decisions, especially when it comes to understanding how effectively their real estate is being used.

The solution: In order to effectively set strategy and manage risk, you need to have a clear picture of your real estate assets. Access to analytics in real time is key.

Plan for the future

The problem: Real estate is the second highest expense for most organizations. The majority of CFOs are missing out on a crucial business opportunity; rather than focus on cost-cutting initiatives, there is a gold mine at their fingertips with growth strategies linked to capitalizing on real estate assets.

The solution: With real-time models of current physical assets, you can make informed decisions about where to save money by optimizing the efficient use of your existing space to avoid any unnecessary additional real estate acquisitions or expenses. You can also use your real estate assets to grow revenue by selling off or renting out unused space.

Improve organizational efficiency

The problem: Employees are likely spending countless hours doing manual reporting and managing real estate in outdated spreadsheets or faulty DIY systems that were developed internally. What’s the opportunity cost of all that time lost, and where could that time be better spent? Forbes indicates that one of the 5 top CFO strategies for 2017 includes automating low-level stuff to free up time to focus on other areas of business.

The solution: Enterprise technology solutions enable transparency, automated data collection and accurate, real-time data analysis into your real estate, your second highest expense. This helps you make informed decisions and frees up employee time that used to be absorbed by manually updating spreadsheets—which, are highly prone to human error.

Prepare for the unknown

The problem: From natural disasters to future Mergers & Acquisitions, it’s imperative to plan for the future and mitigate risk where possible. This is particularly true for CFOs that want to set strategic growth goals.

The solution: Technology solutions enable scenario planning so you can manage changes in your physical space inventory across your entire portfolio of facilities and make informed decisions about your growth strategy.

Protect human capital

The problem: The best talent wants to work for a company that is innovative, not stuck in the past. Eight out of ten senior executives see the advantage of updated technology in the workplace, and half of them would quit over outdated technology.

The solution: There’s a strong human capital imperative to keep your business resources modernized, so you can attract and retain top talent. The condition of your facilities directly impacts the well-being of the people who work in them. It’s crucial to keep your space functioning optimally to keep employees happy.

As a CFO, you’re tasked with being a strategic advisor to the CEO. Your ability to do your job depends on access to reliable company data. A company-wide space management technology solution provides the necessary structure to help you see what’s going on with one of your most crucial assets―your space.

By boosting transparency, helping you plan for the future, improving organizational efficiency, preparing you for the unknown and protecting human capital, space management can help you set strategic goals for your company, setting you up to be a valued strategic advisor.

The first step is learning to set strategy with your space. Read our space management best practices e-book to learn more and to get started.