In recent years, we’ve seen the pace of technological development get faster than ever. Speed, of course, is what driving digital transformation. The upshot? That no matter what its size, every company’s success is linked to its ability to adapt and embrace innovation. And that nobody can ignore its impact on the customer journey. This technological shift is down to Artificial Intelligence. It means that no single player – whether they’re involved in Marketing, Sales or Finance – can afford to reject a high-level digital agenda.
Finance Departments are just as affected. CFOs are now adopting a greater strategic role. They’re now influencing the digital transformation process and driving real business value.
Why Artificial Intelligence is the future of digital growth and added value
Digital has revolutionized the Finance profession, as we knew it. Many of its functions are now automated and overseen by Cloud computing. The transformation, though, is now set to go far beyond the limits of Cloud computing, analytics and mobility. Smart technologies –namely the application of Artificial Intelligence – are changing organizational structure and how companies work.
Finance departments are equally impacted. Artificial Intelligence represents a vital opportunity to break new ground. It’s a technology that all companies now need to embrace if they’re to get business edge.
Via machine learning and algorithms, Artificial Intelligence can now make sense of once meaningless volumes of data. It’s permitting companies to transform into full digital businesses and gain all the benefits that implies.
CFOs have a key role to play within this digital revolution. It’s one that has repercussions not only for the Finance Department. But for the entire customer journey.
How Artificial Intelligence is the future of customer relations
The B2C sector was the first to embrace Artificial Intelligence (AI). It’s employing chatbots, virtual assistants and facial recognition. AI means businesses can now get closer to their customers. They can now access all the benefits of customer experience hyper-personalization.
But now, the B2B sector is embracing AI too and its contribution has immense potential. Businesses can now choose and retain the right customers. They can understand purchase and payment behavior. With reams of valued-added data at their fingertips, companies are now able to analyze and interpret this to predict and boost customer engagement.
Billions of data points now get generated on a daily basis by companies. It’s derived from their social media, the Web, CRM, ERP and automated marketing platforms. Combining this internal data with external sources means it can be analyzed. Then it can be used to deliver actionable information to support company decision-making.
The result is a dramatic improvement in operational efficiency and productivity. Machine-learning algorithms can now exploit data flows to analyze customer behavior right. This knowledge that spans the breadth of the customer journey can then inform decision-making.
How the role of the CFO has become pivotal to the customer journey
This is an area where the CFO is ideally placed to play a greater role in contributing to company growth and profits. His perspective on new customer acquisition, retention activities, customer development and predictive customer behavior models is crucial.
AI is what’s making all of this possible. With his new 360° vision and customer knowledge, the CFO can become a strategic business leader. Via AI and the breaking down of old company silos, the customer journey becomes everyone’s concern. And customer engagement wins its rightful place at the heart of business strategy.
AI – should we see it as a threat or as an opportunity ?
AI means we get to work smarter, faster.
It’s far more than just one more layer in the technology stack. It ushers in a new era of company collaboration and decision-making. And this is down to AI opening up hidden valuable business opportunities.
Disruptive technologies invariably provoke as much trepidation as they do fascination. But AI is not the stuff of science fiction. It’s here. Predictive analytics programmes are already running and machine learning is a reality. All of it has already been tested and approved by the big American four, GAFA, (Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon) and the big Chinese four, BATX, (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent & Xiaomi). The ability to establish functional fast software drivers within companies is here too.
In the future, it will be the companies that can harness AI that will set themselves apart. They will become fully digital businesses. Forward-thinking CFOs will help this happen. Because, by making AI accessible company-wide, they now have the power to unleash infinite company value.