Finance departments worldwide opt for AI

 A quarter of finance departments expect to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) by 2020 and half will also be using predictive analytics, according to a global survey of technology and finance by research and advisory company Gartner

As well as the 27% who are opting for AI, the research consultancy’s poll of over 400 organisations worldwide also found that a third (32%) plan to be using mobile solutions for financial processes and analytics, while 29% expect to adopt robotic process automation (RPA).

Just 7% have plans to implement blockchain, and only 2% are interested in chatbots.

Gartner said the interest in advanced technologies is driven by CFOs and other finance leaders looking for new ways to reduce costs, improve controls and uncover fresh insights that could drive competitive advantage.

However, despite rapidly growing interest in AI to improve financial planning and analysis (FP&A), only a few organisations are currently using it successfully, whereas the business case and best practices for other technologies such as predictive analytics and RPA are arguably better understood, the research found.

Gartner conducted an extensive global analysis of social media conversations around the term ‘financial planning and analysis’ when discussed alongside AI, between 2016 and 2018.

Christopher Iervolino, senior director analyst at Gartner, said: ‘The results show that the number of conversations including this phrase has been growing rapidly, with a compound quarterly growth rate of 15.7%.

‘The lack of working AI deployments is no big surprise, because the technology is not yet built into most FP&A application suites.

‘There is tremendous potential for transformational improvement, but these capabilities are only just becoming mainstream so the deployment expectations we see in the survey may be unrealistic for many.’

Report by Pat Sweet

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