By Jarred Boone, Product Marketing Manager, ERP EPM Cloud, Oracle
Even with all of the hype around advanced technologies such as blockchain, AI and machine learning, many finance professionals are still struggling to understand the technologies’ potential impact on their jobs.
Earlier this month, Oracle hosted the NorCal ERP Cloud Customer Community Day — an event where customers throughout the San Francisco Bay area gathered at Oracle headquarters to learn best practices around the cloud from their peers, as well as how Oracle can help support ERP and EPM cloud customers in their finance modernization efforts.
During their keynote session at the event, “Finance Game Changers: How Blockchain, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence are Transforming Finance,” Oracle GVP of product management Hari Sankar, VP of Financials Development Rob Zwiebach, and VP of Adaptive Intelligent Applications Jack Berkowitz discussed how these technologies can be leveraged to make an immediate impact on finance transformation.
Organizations need to take these technologies seriously because the potential is very compelling. Research shows that frontier companies, or the top 5% of companies in any industry segment, are using emerging technologies to become more highly automated and productive than their competition. And if you’re not a frontier company, you need to be looking to derive competitive advantage by adopting these emerging technologies. Because your best competitor almost certainly is.
Many of these emerging technologies fall squarely in the charter of the finance function. Finance spends way too much time turning data and reports into insight when they should spend most of their time communicating that insight to the business and providing advice on strategy. Artificial intelligence has the potential to automate much of that data analysis, so finance can spend more time taking action.
These technologies can be powerful tools in decision making and can help improve the quality of decisions made by finance managers and executives by detecting hidden patterns and insights in historical data. These insights can impact a range of decisions: from tactical decisions like which vendor to pay first, to operational decisions like budget reallocations, to strategic decisions like mergers and acquisitions. Finance managers and executives can spend less time chasing data in order to have a deep intuitive understanding of the business, and more time on decision making and strategic input to operational lines of business.