Organizations 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 organizations.
AI and Digital Assistants Improve Accuracy and Efficiency in Finance
Organizations embracing emerging technologies in finance are experiencing benefits far greater than anticipated:
- Errors in finance organizations have been reduced by 37 percent on average.
- 72 percent of organizations 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 organizations improve accuracy, speed and insight in operations and the supply chain, and respondents expect additional business value as blockchain applications become mainstream.
- Organizations 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 organizations reduce fulfillment errors by 26 percent on average.
- AI is helping organizations reduce fulfillment errors by 25 percent, stock-outs by 30 percent, and manufacturing downtime by 26 percent.
- Organizations 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 organizations 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 organizations 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 organizations are using at least one of these technologies (AI, IoT, blockchain, digital assistants) in production.
- 82 percent of organizations using three or more emerging technologies are ahead of competitors, compared to only 45 percent of organizations using none.
- Organizations using multiple emerging technologies are 9.5 times more likely to have market-leading financial and operational accuracy.
- Organizations 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 organizations 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 organizations 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.”
Research findings are based on a global survey of 700 finance and operations managers and executives conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group between September 19 to October 16, 2019. The study was administered online and fielded in 13 countries. All respondents were managers and executives in the finance or operations functional units of their organizations, and were required to be frequent users of ERP, EPM or SCM applications. Additionally, only respondents working at organizations with 1,000 or more employees or with annual revenues of $100M of more were considered qualified. The survey was complemented by 10 in-depth interviews with finance and operations leaders from various industries. All respondents were provided an incentive to complete the survey in the form of cash awards and/or cash equivalents.