As per the latest PwC 2018 CFO Pulse Survey report, over two-thirds, 68 percent, of business decision makers consider automation will shrivel people numbers in the traditional finance function. The survey further found 57 percent of leaders deem that automation and Artificial Intelligence will have a momentous brunt on their business in the next three years. However, only 16 percent of business leaders are ready to grip the opportunities.
With 21 percent of business leaders, the survey unveiled that radical automation and utilization of AI will be the key drivers for the drastic change of traditional and accounting models ahead of 2020. Though, the survey also emphasized deprived exposure to key technological innovations. 28 percent of respondents have major exposure to Cloud-based technologies and data analytics. While less than one-fifth have considerable interaction with robotics and AI. On the other side, emerging technologies like Blockchain, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Chatbots scored very poor activity levels. In spite of the poor exposure to new technologies, 43 percent of business leaders responded that they plan to spend over €1m in emerging technologies in the next three years. While just 6 percent responded this would be over €5m. Partner for performance improvement at PwC in Ireland, Amy Ball stated that with nearly 31percent of respondents reported their ability to get a return from IT as a challenge; the significance of getting IT investment right the first time is decisive.
Ball also noted that the focus on a reduced but up-skilled workforce is on. She said 68 percent of business leaders are of the view that digitization and automation will lessen the people numbers in their finance function in the next three years, of which 37 percent replied their people numbers would fall by more than 10 percent.