The 2018 AFP Technology Survey, underwritten by BELLIN, revealed a gap between enthusiasm for fintech and leveraging it within the organization.
Corporate treasury and finance executives are enthusiastic about emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and robotic process automation. Yet, new research by AFP reveals that many financial professionals have yet to implement these technologies within their functions.
Based on 708 responses, the 2018 AFP Technology Survey not only found that implementation of emerging technologies is low, but in addition many organizations do not have plans to deploy them. Only 6 percent of firms utilize blockchain or distributed ledger technology; 79 percent have no plans to do so. Just 11 percent utilize artificial intelligence; 70 percent have no plans to do so.
Although implementation levels are low for these emerging technologies—robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain/distributed ledger technology—many respondents believe these technologies will have a positive impact on efficiency, even if only to some extent.
Forty-one percent of survey respondents believe treasury and finance staff haven’t considered that new technologies could make them obsolete at their jobs, while 34 percent are expressing some unease. Only 7 percent are extremely concerned that these technologies could leave them unemployed while the remaining 17 percent are indifferent as they are equipped to work alongside these new technologies.
“The gap between enthusiasm for emerging technologies and implementation is very troubling,” said Jim Kaitz, president and CEO of AFP. “These technologies are disrupting every organization—especially the finance function. If treasury and finance do not embrace these emerging technologies and implement them to help make their organizations more successful, they risk being left behind by innovators inside and outside their organizations.”
“Embracing new technology can be daunting but it is the only way forward,” said Martin Bellin, founder and CEO of BELLIN. “The world of treasury and finance has a unique opportunity to not just keep pace with new trends, but to be a driving force behind them.”
Read the full survey here.