Early last December, just before ChatGPT became the new, bright, shiny object, The Economist magazine ran a story proclaiming that we had finally arrived at the age of boring artificial intelligence (AI). From my perspective, it’s unfortunate that didn’t last and that AI has been relegated back to the buzzword league. AI will be an increasingly important feature of business software through the end of this decade. Ventana Research asserts that by 2026, almost all vendors of software designed for finance organizations will have incorporated some AI capabilities to reduce workloads and improve performance. The same observation applies, to some significant degree, to other parts of an enterprise, so it’s important for people in operational roles to understand what AI can and cannot do. It’s also important for vendors to clearly and concretely communicate what they mean when they say, “AI-enabled.” Moreover, I prefer the alternative term “augmented intelligence” because it emphasizes that these systems enhance — rather than replace — the capabilities of the humans employing them, especially through improved decision-making and by eliminating the need to perform repetitive work.
Topics: Office of Finance, Business Intelligence, Business Planning, Enterprise Resource Planning, ERP and Continuous Accounting, natural language processing, AI and Machine Learning, continuous supply chain, digital finance, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments, Consolidate/Close/Report
We added purchasing, sourcing and payments to our core Office of Finance focus areas this year to reflect new and important opportunities to use technology to gain effectiveness through greater efficiency. Doing a better job of record-keeping and organizing paperwork – especially in a minutiae-laden process like source-to-pay – may seem trivial. Yet digitally transforming core business processes became essential as the pandemic required organizations to lock down in early 2020, and the need to operate remotely presented a new set of challenges best addressed by software. Moreover, accounts payable work can be done remotely, and organizations that go this route find that digitizing the process works best.
Topics: Office of Finance, ERP and Continuous Accounting, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments
Digitally transforming core business processes became essential as organizations locked down in early 2020 because of the pandemic and the need to operate remotely presented a set of new challenges that were best addressed by software. Especially in the areas of sourcing, purchasing and payments, software has the ability to streamline processes, shorten process cycles, reduce unnecessary costs, provide greater visibility into cash flows, increase control and improve results. Digitizing operations helps attract and retain the best talent because professionals spend less time on mechanical, repetitive tasks. For all these reasons, beginning this year, Ventana Research’s Office of Finance has established a Purchasing, Sourcing and Payments focus area. One reason is that our research suggests that this transformation is more talked about than done. Ventana Research asserts that by 2027, only one-fourth of larger organizations will consistently manage source-to-pay end-to-end, but those that do will outperform competitors.
Topics: ERP, Office of Finance, continuous supply chain, digital finance, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments