Global research highlights how organisations are capitalising on emerging technologies to enhance finance and operations for competitive advantage
Organisations that are adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies in finance and operations are growing their annual profits 80 percent faster, according to a new study from Enterprise Strategy Group and Oracle. The global study, Emerging Technologies: The Competitive Edge for Finance and Operations, surveyed 700 finance and operations leaders across 13 countries and found that emerging technologies – AI, Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, digital assistants – have passed the adoption tipping point, exceed expectations, and create significant competitive advantage for organisations.
AI and Digital Assistants Improve Accuracy and Efficiency in Finance
Organisations embracing emerging technologies in finance are experiencing benefits far greater than anticipated:
- Errors in finance organisations have been reduced by 37 percent on average.
- 72 percent of organisations using AI have a better understanding of overall business performance.
- 83 percent of executives believe AI will completely automate financial close processes within the next five years.
- Digital assistants increase productivity by 36 percent and accelerate financial analysis by 38 percent.
AI, IoT, and Blockchain Drive More Responsive Supply Chains
AI, IoT, blockchain and digital assistants are helping organisations improve accuracy, speed and insight in operations and the supply chain, and respondents expect additional business value as blockchain applications become mainstream.
- Organisations using AI in their supply chains have seen order fulfillment reduction by an average of 6.7 business days.
- Applying IoT data to supply chain processes helps organisations reduce fulfillment errors by 26 percent on average.
- AI is helping organisations reduce fulfillment errors by 25 percent, stock-outs by 30 percent, and manufacturing downtime by 26 percent.
- Organisations using digital assistants in their supply chains have increased employee productivity by 28 percent and the speed of analysis by 26 percent.
- 87 percent of organisations using blockchain have achieved or exceeded ROI expectations; 82 percent expect to see significant business value within the next year.
- 78 percent of executives believe the ability to verify supply chain monitoring with blockchain will reduce incidents of fraud in their supply chain by 50 percent or more over the next five years.
- 68 percent of respondents see increased business intelligence as a key advantage of emerging technology in supply chain operations.
Emerging Tech Equals Competitive Advantage
The vast majority of organisations have now adopted emerging technologies and early adopters (those using three or more solutions) are seeing the greatest benefit and are more likely to outperform competitors.
- Emerging technologies have become mainstream and 84 percent of organisations are using at least one of these technologies (AI, IoT, blockchain, digital assistants) in production.
- 82 percent of organisations using three or more emerging technologies are ahead of competitors, compared to only 45 percent of organisations using none.
- Organisations using multiple emerging technologies are 9.5 times more likely to have market-leading financial and operational accuracy.
- Organisations are 2-3 times more likely to purchase prebuilt emerging technology solutions than build them on their own (percentage varies depending on technology solution).
- Almost all respondents (91 percent) considered SaaS applications to be a key enabler of emerging technology.
“AI, IoT, blockchain and digital assistant capabilities enable organisations to innovate faster, creating significant competitive advantage and driving increased profit for companies embracing those technologies more decisively than their competitors,” said Juergen Lindner, senior vice president, SaaS product marketing, Oracle. “The research finds that these technologies have become mainstream and organisations that sit on the sidelines risk their business relevance. To help our customers outpace change and consequently the competition, we continuously infuse emerging technologies directly into the business processes to ensure they can harness these business-changing technologies.”
“This study makes it clear that emerging technologies have passed the trial phase and are moving toward a state of widespread adoption,” said John McKnight, EVP of Research and Analyst Services of Enterprise Strategy Group. “The business case for these technologies in areas such as finance and operations is maturing at a rapid pace – and in most cases benefits exceed expectations. Furthermore, the research shows that emerging technologies complement and amplify the benefits of one another, which underscores the importance of taking a holistic approach.”
HALO TRUST USES ADAPTIVE INSIGHTS FOR STRATEGIC BUSINESS PLANNING
Cloud-based financial planning helps HALO Trust deliver greater benefit to communities affected by war
Adaptive Insights, a Workday company, today announced The HALO Trust, the world’s largest humanitarian landmine clearance organisation, employing more than 8,700 employees across 25 countries, uses Adaptive Insights Business Planning Cloud to support the charity’s continued growth with a modern business planning process. The HALO Trust joins more than 750 non-profit customers that trust Adaptive Insights for business planning, benefiting a variety of communities and causes worldwide.
The organisation relied on the development of financial plans utilising complex spreadsheets, which were difficult to integrate into the global planning process and inefficient when producing multiple scenarios for effective option appraisal.
“Being able to holistically manage real-time changes is critical to our success. With a single, powerful system in the cloud, we’ve eliminated the headache of working with siloed spreadsheets and have significantly reduced the time taken to produce high-quality financial models,” says Mick Darby, finance director at The HALO Trust.
For more than 30 years, The HALO Trust has kept people safe and helped communities to rebuild by clearing landmines, destroying weapons, managing stockpiles, and educating communities how to stay safe until the dangerous debris of war can be removed for good. By moving HALO’s planning and analysis process entirely to the cloud, the finance team provides the guidance necessary to support the rapid growth of the organisation, which has doubled in just the last three years. Providing globally distributed team members with an easier, faster, and standardised approach ensures that the charity’s budgets and forecasts reflect current local conditions and currencies, all rolled up into a single platform.
“We’re proud to provide organisations like HALO with more time to focus on the important humanitarian work they do by simplifying and modernising their business planning process,” said Robert Douglas, Europe planning director at Adaptive Insights. “By streamlining budgeting and forecasting, we’re helping to make every pound and every volunteer hour count, which in turn helps HALO maximise the impact on its mission to save and protect lives.”
IS DATA PROTECTION AND PRIVACY RELEVANT ACROSS ALL STRATA IN INDIAN SOCIETY?
A Study by Pensaar Design With CGAP
Pensaar Design has been working on a research study with CGAP to better understand low-income customers and their behaviour towards data protection and privacy (DPP).
The objective being to understand whether customers were aware of what it meant and how it impacted them, it started out with exploratory research to gain this context.
What we found was that once you broke down the seemingly complex term and contextualised it for them, most customers quoted instances of data misuse in their own lives and those in their immediate network.
Examples from within their own circle had actually created some level of understanding about the issue, and made it relevant to this audience. There were instances of phishing emails, of calls, and so on, and not having the benefit of sufficient awareness or education, this audience seemed, particularly at threat.
We discovered that the concept of consumer consent is particularly broken in the low-income segment in India. This is because very often these customers are in dire need of a loan or other financial solution, and at that juncture, given their urgent need for funds, often end up signing over their privacy rights without even fully realising what they’re doing!
Despite how things have been thus far, however, what we learnt was that these customers do have some degree of awareness, and are in fact concerned about their privacy and personal information and are willing to do more to protect it.
We found that these customers are willing to pay for access to Data Protection and Privacy, or even open to investing time or effort if need be, to secure their data.
Basis these findings, we are now in the process of testing these out in the real world, to further validate these findings.
Deepa Bachu, CEO & Co-Founder of Pensaar Design, the firm carrying out the research said “We are delighted to have the opportunity to develop a really rigorous understanding of DPP among the lower-income group and the privilege of partnering with CGAP. Our behaviour based research gave us an opportunity to continuously learn and evolve our understanding. We look forward to the next phase to further carry out behaviour-based research experiments with financial service providers.”
Maria Fernandez Vidal and David Medine, CGAP Senior Financial Sector Specialists said, “We are excited about partnering with Pensaar Design to test the degree to which lower-income consumers are willing to act to protect their privacy in their financial transactions. Moving from simulations to marketplace financial products will further enhance our understanding of the importance of data protection and privacy to consumers. The findings could promote industry self-regulatory efforts by making the case that privacy is good business.”
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