Technology research and consultancy firm Gartner has identified four actions organisations should take to ensure that their finance artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives are successful.
The four actions include hiring external AI talent, investing in AI-enabled technology, experimenting with early pilots and choosing a data-savvy AI leader. Taking these four actions ensures initiatives can be scaled faster, have greater impact, create efficiencies and transform businesses.
First, Gartner suggests that organisations focus on hiring external staff with AI skills, so that they benefit from new ideas. Although upskilling finance staff may be less expensive, Gartner stresses that it runs the risk of slowing progress and introducing greater potential for error.
Next, the research firm suggests that companies invest in AI-enabled technology, rather than building the software in-house. This saves companies time and encourages collaboration.
Successful finance AI organisations are also taking a ‘fail fast’ approach to AI deployment before making large investments into solutions. Typically, they are still exploring the same use cases as less successful organisations, focusing on accounting processes, back-office processing and cash-flow forecasting.
Finally, organisations must select an appropriate person to head their AI deployment to make the most of the benefits. Gartner has identified financial planners and analysers as particularly successful candidates for this role due to their strong analytical backgrounds.
“The use of AI in finance departments is still nascent with the majority only having begun in the last two years,” said Jacob Joseph-David, director of research in the Gartner Finance practice. “The majority also fail to quickly realise the anticipated returns from such projects. The departments taking these four actions are finding twice the number of AI use cases on average compared to those who aren’t taking them.
“This translates to more significant business outcomes, such as new product lines, as well as finance department outcomes, such as greater accuracy and shorter process times.”
Read more about Gartner’s findings.