Artificial Intelligence & Finance: Two sides of the same coin in new normal

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March 22, 2021 1:00 AM

Business leaders believe that companies will need to re-align themselves with the power of the trinity – AI, IoT and Blockchain

Guruprasad GaonkarGuruprasad Gaonkar

In 2020 our personal and professional relationships and perceptions have undergone a sea change and this includes our relationship with our money as well. According to a survey that Oracle did with personal finance expert Farnoosh Torabi, 83% of Indians (including business leaders) trust robots more than humans when it comes to managing their finances.

Some of the key India data that suggests this consequential shift reveals that – 85% of Indian consumers believe that robots can help them with managing their finances. Responding to this change in consumer mindset, Indian business leaders, that is, 93% have shared that they have invested in digital payment capabilities and 81% have created new forms of customer engagement or changed their business models by embracing newer technologies. “I am not surprised with the study as AI and ML are seeing unprecedented adoption, with the pandemic playing catalyst, says Kannan Sugantharaman, CFO, Omega Healthcare.

Around 90% of business leaders believe robots will replace finance professionals, and more than a third (67%) of them believe that it’ll happen by 2025. Guruprasad Gaonkar, Global SaaS Go-to-Market Leader, Cloud Business Group, Oracle, observes that “many forward looking companies have already started the process by adopting AI powered ERP, with more radical transformation coming from the possibility of bringing it together with Blockchain”. McDonalds and Wipro are some of companies that have already moved on from previously “people dependent approach” to eliminate manual guesswork specifically with enterprise performance management. Echoing the sentiment, Dinesh Modi, CFO, Cactus Communications, says that “ERP cloud has given us the opportunity to work with technologies like robotic process automation (RPA) and streamline the process whereby the same team can deliver higher output.”

Businesses will need to re-align themselves with the power of the trinity – AI, IoT and Blockchain. Almost every activity that goes within the finance function across sectors can be planned and agreed upon within ERP cloud applications and then encrypted into an immutable ledger capable of executing different transactions autonomously and at a defined moment in time.

It’s time to rethink the money management. Businesses need to provide new business models and payment methods that remove friction for customers. Sugantharaman foresees finance as a function undergoing transformation. Elements like Cost, Control and Compliance can be more efficiently managed by AI based tools today leaving business leaders and CFOs to tend to more strategic roles facilitating growth, investments, enablement and value creation through digital technologies.

In a nutshell, AI will transform the role of the CFO, introducing the touchless finance factory and the creation of a next generation workplace. As Gaonkar puts it, “being technology enabled is a passé, being technology led is in vogue.”

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