2024 Should Be a “Year of Reckoning” for AI

Don’t show CFOs AI “magic” – show them the money.

While surveys regularly show chief financial officers are excited over what artificial intelligence brings to the table, the data is also accumulating that corporate finance executives will bear more responsibility for company AI rollouts.

A case in point.

84% of U.S. CFOs will be “more involved” in their firm’s technology strategies and operations going forward, according to the CFO 2023 Outlook Survey. In doing so, CFOs will demonstrate a “willingness to step outside the traditional CFO rules,” the study noted. “Through upskilling and continuing to learn more about rapidly advancing technologies like artificial intelligence, CFOs aim to be more tech-savvy.”

As CFOs take on more responsibility for technology efforts, especially with AI implementations which are expected to rise significantly in 2024, they’ll also have a bigger say in how those implementations will be carried out.

That comes at a time when “skepticism” will “sweep away” some of AI’s hype in 2024, CFO Dive reported this week.

“This is the year where people are now beginning to say, ‘Show me the money,’” (Gen AI firm) Aible CEO Arijit Sengupta told CFO Dive. “If you hear someone say AI is magic, shut down their budget,” he said. “New vendors and internal stakeholders — if they approach it as magic, they will mess it up, and it’s going to hurt your company.”

More Autonomy With Technology Decisions

The good news is that CFOs will have more leeway and less interference in calling some of the shots on technology implementations this year. The CFO study says finance teams will have “more autonomy” when it comes to new technology efforts.

“Leadership is grounded on the ability to present ideas and make decisions, and according to the other members of the C-suite, CFOs are doing a pretty good job at that,” the study noted.

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