As enterprises successfully acclimate to the challenges of what has become known as the "new normal," we find evidence of a growing acceptance that these changes are permanent; indeed, today's situation might be more accurately termed the "now normal." The Hackett Group's annual Key Issues Study, representing a diverse set of Global 1000 businesses and executive viewpoints, reflects that.

For companies in 2012, success means a careful balancing act between searching for new revenue and preserving margins amid continued volatility. To achieve these goals, companies will have to make a concerted effort to expand their footprint in emerging markets because mature economies show little potential for growth in the near term.

In late 2011, leaders of finance organizations were asked about enterprise as well as their own functional priorities and initiatives in 2012. They indicated that the two main issues shaping the finance agenda in the coming year are:

1. Enabling growth through enhancing capabilities to support analysis and decision-making expertise.

2. Managing their own complexity and cost structure and providing support for these initiatives across the enterprise.