Does AI help or hinder IT Financial Management?

AI-powered software is infiltrating the world of TBM and IT financial management software as it is in every other aspect of our lives. But is it all good news? Let’s find out more.

Artificial Intelligence is taking over the way we live. Whether it’s your Alexa speaker at home, Siri on your phone, ChatGPT or any other AI-powered app, you simply cannot avoid it. Technology Business Management (TBM) and IT financial management are no different; we’re beginning to see vendors add AI-powered features to their solutions that claim to be game-changing. The question is, are they right?

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into generative AI such as machine learning and Large Language Models (LLMs) and the pros and cons this can have in IT financial management and TBM. Then, you can make up your own mind. Let’s get started.

AI advantages

The three main use cases for AI in IT financial management are:

  1. Automating manual processes to reduce workload
  2. Increasing the quality of results
  3. Assist in predicting and forecasting

Let’s look at each of these in turn:

When you bring AI-powered automation into your organization to take care of the manual, repeatable tasks your people typically do, you suddenly free up their time. In the context of IT financial management and TBM, you may have a financial manager spending weeks each month combing through data, trying to get the best analysis or the most actionable insights out of it. But AI can analyze vast amounts of data in seconds. Now, the financial manager has time to think more strategically, asking new questions and developing new ideas. The potential of this newly created time is massive.

And while we may like to think that humans will always produce the best work, when it comes to analyzing financial data, there’s no competition. AI assists IT finance managers by reducing instances of human error, thereby improving the overall quality of the analysis.

What’s more, generative AI is capable of a higher level of analysis than any human IT financial analyst. Machine learning and Large Language Models are pretty self-explanatory - they can continuously learn from, and consume, vast amounts of data. Generative AI has the ability to spot patterns and trends, outliers or irregularities amongst large quantities of data that even the most expert analysts simply cannot. The technology can also take this one step further to generate new data that has similar characteristics. This is where AI starts to become creative and game-changing. Organisations can leverage this capability to derive future results from historical data – and take action in planning and forecasting accordingly. According to the 2023 Gartner Symposium, 80 per cent of CIOs and tech executives plan full adoption of generative AI within 3 years. 

Finally, AI is extremely fast. It can analyze financial data in real-time with pinpoint accuracy, so managers can make instant data-driven decisions to identify cost savings and increase operational efficiency.

AI drawbacks

Of course, nothing is perfect. Even AI has some drawbacks associated with it.

Firstly, data analysis performed by AI can only be as good as the data being analyzed. If the data in your organisation is inaccurate, contaminated by bot activity or biased in some way, the AI-powered algorithms will produce inaccurate, misleading or biased results. It links to the ethical issues around AI. Governments are very much on the back foot when it comes to regulating the use of AI, so companies need to take the initiative themselves to ensure they ‘do no harm’.

There is also the security aspect. AI requires large amounts of business-sensitive data to produce optimal results. This makes it an enticing target for cybercriminals. When you incorporate AI into your TBM and IT financial management processes, you must ensure you’ve taken all necessary measures around cybersecurity.

Many worry that bringing AI into workflows will mean people will lose their jobs. In an ideal world, taking manual tasks away from humans will give them time to work on strategy, innovation and other tasks only they can do, but some companies may see it as an excuse to cut staffing costs.

Finally, there’s the fear that you can quickly develop an overreliance on AI. IT financial managers need to understand that AI is a tool, assisting them in producing insights from the data it is fed. Don’t blindly follow the AI and never lose your ability to think critically and verify the results.

The smart way to select AI for your IT Finance

Download our handy guide for anyone looking to harness the potential of AI in Technology Business Management (TBM) and IT Financial Management, but unsure where to start.

Ready to join the AI revolution?

While AI has its disadvantages, as long as we are aware of the risks and take steps to mitigate them, IT financial managers should be able to reap the benefits AI, and more specifically generative AI, can bring to their processes.

The revolution is here, but who knows where we’ll be ten or fifteen years in the future? Perhaps you’ll be able to ask the conversational AI in Siri to remove 20% of your IT costs without impacting quality, and it’ll be done in seconds. AI might lead to job displacement, but it’s more likely to cause a shift in the tasks people carry out and how they carry them out with the assistance of generative AI. The skills will be in the questions or prompts you ask the AI, how you verify the answers, what metadata you tag the data with and how you apply the results across your organization. As Gartner explained in their recent IT Symposium, you don’t necessarily need tons of data to get value. You just need quality data that is specific to your organization.

Whatever happens, it’s an exciting time to be in Technology Business Management and IT financial management. Now, are you ready to find out more?

The Serviceware solution

Serviceware Financial uses AI capabilities to improve financial management for enterprise businesses. This modern technology delivers greater accuracy and saves your team substantial time and resources, enabling you to be more strategic and productive. Keen to know how our AI works? Get in touch today for a deep dive into the platform.

Sam Wilson

Written by Sam Wilson

Sam Wilson is Head of International at Serviceware SE, a leading enterprise management software company. Serviceware provide solutions to digitalize and automate service processes, enabling companies to improve service quality and efficiently manage service costs. Sam has 10+ years of international experience in enterprise IT and IT financial management and has helped many global organizations realize value through their IT investments over the years.

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