Gartner Sees a Big Rise With AI in the Finance Suite

Artificial intelligence rises in finance – but with these “only if” caveats.

Gartner is out with a new study showing artificial intelligence, particularly in the machine learning space, is rising in finance.

The study notes that 68% of financial sector decision-makers are either using AI now or planning to do so very soon. Of the number “already using”, 39% say they’re leaning into machine learning to boost company efficiency and productivity.

There are several qualifiers when the study queries turned to success rates using AI, and how the companies who’ve benefitted from the company are seeing big gains.

“The most successful AI-forward finance organizations embrace and evangelize AI at the C-suite level and embed data science teams directly within finance departments while avoiding reliance on third parties,” said Mark D. McDonald, senior director analyst in the Gartner Finance Practice. “It’s only when employees embrace AI as a co-worker rather than a threat to their jobs that organizations see the highest likelihood and magnitude of success.”

Three Paths to Success

That’s just for starters.

Gartner says finance executives who get the best result from AI implementations tend to use one or all of the following “success ratio” characteristics.

Have the patience of a saint. According to Gartner, shorter-term results are possible with AI usage, but genuinely transformative results take time.

“Although short-term benefits from AI are possible through simple or purchased solutions, the transformative value of AI in finance requires a level of maturity that takes time to build,” the report stated.

Trust the science. Data science emerges are a “new role” in finance,” Gartner notes.

“A majority of finance teams report using data scientists,” the report stated. “Once seen as a risky and frivolous headcount, modern finance teams commonly use data scientists whether they leverage AI or not.”

Acceptance – even eagerness – significantly contributes to AI’s success. “Organizations with a high level of AI acceptance report a high level of success, “Gartner adds. “Without the buy-in from knowledgeable process owners, building AI-driven processes that emulate their decisions and actions proves difficult.”

Ideally, finance department decision-makers should take the time to immerse all three themes into their AI execution strategy. Doing so, Gartner says, will yield the most optimal results across the board.

“These three quite simple factors have an impact on success rates with AI in the finance functions,” McDonald notes “Put the data scientists close to the processes and people that will train AI, make sure those people understand that AI can make their jobs easier and give them the time needed to produce transformative results.”

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