How to Advocate the Benefits of Intelligent Automation to Your CFO

Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) is a ground-breaking technology that has been enabling intelligent automation for a number of businesses across industries. Apart from driving operational efficiency, IPA capabilities are safeguarding businesses from various uncertainties thereby facilitating long-term success.

IPA is a combination of two integral components – Artificial Intelligence (AI) which automates the processing of unstructured content and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) which handles the automation of workflows from start to finish. This end-to-end automation, with human intervention if required in the loop, is hyperautomation and it is a powerful capability regardless of industry.

Even though the many benefits of Intelligent Automation are apparent it is an entirely different ball game to get your company’s CFO on board with the decision to implement it. Of course, as a CFO this is a decision that cannot be made lightly as they are solely responsible to ensure that this endeavor is successful and worthwhile with a significant Return on Investment (ROI).

Consider mentioning that hyperautomation is listed in Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2021 and research by Gartner indicates that by 2022, 65% of organizations will introduce IPA that leverages Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). Moreover, IPA was valued at USD 6.25 billion in 2017 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 12.9% by 2023.

Aside from this CFOs are also burdened with a plethora of additional responsibilities such as preserving liquidity, ensuring employee safety in times of crisis and driving business continuity. Chances are your CFO may see this as an unnecessary and expensive venture at the moment.

The real question is how do you push for intelligent automation and get your CFO to buy into intelligent automation for your company?

Propose A Corporate Transformation Founded on Technology

 Remember that you’ll have a short time-frame, maybe half an hour, to present your initiative and convince your CFO that it’s worth investing in. In a situation like this it is critical that you have your facts straight leaving nothing to chance.

The key is to emphasize that this is a business transformation that leverages Intelligent Automation and IT technology. Talk about the transformation in terms such as enhanced efficiency, productivity, cost-effectiveness, revenue growth, lower risk and better business outcomes.

Identify factors that are likely to make sense from your CFOs point of view such as:

  • Boosting operational efficiency and overall business outcomes.
  • Trackable KPIs and testing of financial variables and projected ROI.
  • Administration and potential risk factors associated with the proposal.

Adopt A Staged Approach

A staged approach would be better when convincing your CFO to get on board with any idea. If you have a plan differentiated into phases, it can create a sense of feasibility and increase your chances of convincing them to agree. A staged approach could entail awareness, timeliness and ultimately the specific use case you have in mind.

The first stage is raising awareness regarding the current systems in use and how they are not performing at optimum levels. A clear demonstration of the financial expense incurred due to the non-adoption of this technology in comparison with how much it would cost to implement could make a significant impact. Visualizing the difference with a before and after financial Excel spreadsheetis something that you can take into consideration. Illustrating all the potential parameters where enhancement is possible can make for a much more compelling case. Parameters such as cost, operational efficiency, capacity, scalability, customer satisfaction, business outcomes and so on.

Remember that your initiative is facing other competing projects. Timelines are a great way to demonstrate how long it will take for any initiative to start showing tangible results. Demonstrate how this initiative aligns with broader business strategy to gain sponsorship and guarantee that your proposal makes it onto the budget.

Start Small with Scope for Future Expansion

Start with a small but clear use case for Intelligent Automation with the goal of future expansion once this initial use case is a proven success. Remember that the rate of funding fuels innovation that harnesses Intelligent Automation.  

Your Use case could commence with one stage of a particular process and then expand either upstream or downstream to facilitate the hyperautomation of the entire function or process. This could span several departments, business units and possibly even different geographical regions.

If you have managed to get your CFO on board, chances are you may face questions such as:

  • How long will it take to witness value from the Intelligent Automation use case?
  • How much will it cost and what are the resources required to get it up and running?
  • Will any additional resources and funding be required over the long run?
  • To what degree of success can the Intelligent Automation project be effectively executed?
  • What is the level of uncertainty for successful project execution in light of other priorities and budget constraints?

Despite Intelligent Automation being a revolutionary implementation, it can often take significant effort and time to secure funding for adoption. In order to effectively advocate intelligent automation to your CFO, you must understand your CFO’s concerns and be able to provide a clear and well thought out presentation to attain funding for your initiative.

If you’re interested in understanding the full potential of Hyperautomation you can check out our blog on Why Hyperautomation is Imperative for Modern Enterprises.

Alternatively you can learn how to overcome adversity by Harnessing Intelligent Automation for A Robust Enterprise in the Face of Uncertainty.

If you’d like to explore opportunities where your business can benefit from IPA implementations for hyperautomation, our team at Rapid Acceleration Partners  would be glad to help. Our next-gen, AI-powered content intelligence RAPFlow full lifecycle AI orchestration on a single platform. When used in tandem with our RPA tool RAPBot, it provides end-to-end workflow automation capabilities that can be deployed in just weeks. You can even build your own use case and the platform can easily integrate with your existing systems. Book a demo to get a more detailed understanding of how our products can transform your business.  

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