As the CFO, your chief concern is the financial health of the business you work with. To remain competitive, you must also be aware of the latest trends in your sector. However, CFO’s may not have the time to maintain a competitive edge in both finance and technology.
This is where the division of labour is relevant. Division of labour is a concept first proposed by Adam Smith in his book “Wealth of Nations” in 1776. The concept of division of labour is centralised on the principle that by dividing tasks into their parts, and subsequently allocating a reduced variety of tasks to individual workers – but a greater volume of these individual tasks – that the speed at which any single process is performed is increased. Thus, the per-worker productivity of each employee is increased.
How does this relate to Systems, applications and products (SAP)? Artificial intelligence (AI) is a strong area of growth in the technological realm. By utilising automated systems for identification of potential problems as well as providing actionable insights, any CFO has a powerful tool for streamlining processes and gaining an edge over competitors.
There is a range of artificial intelligence systems available for customization and application to business processes, allowing human resources to be redirected into more skill-intensive areas. Many people distrust AI due to an inability to understand how they operate. However, the algorithms which AI relies on are significantly more reliable for routine tasks than the humans who make calculations the old-fashioned way.
Since AI is very likely to be here to stay, it follows that people who have a vested interest in such technologies will probably have an important contribution to make to the algorithms which AI relies on. By engaging workers’ perspectives with the development of these algorithms, the usefulness of AI in business can be improved. This will create a more inclusive atmosphere to the field of computer science and by extension, demystify a lot of the misconceptions many people have about it.
What are we to say about the problem of “Robots taking over worker’s jobs”? It is a valid concern that by increasing automation, we are creating a situation whereby people are being made redundant. However, it is not all bad news. As more robots take over the jobs which workers used to do, humans are freed up to pursue those actions which they find more enjoyable.
For example, one could envisage a future where a Father has more time to spend with his children due to the automation of tasks which he used to perform routinely. This is not to say that there will be no place for work in the future: instead, it means that workers can commit to the process of using their creative and imaginative abilities rather than feeling trapped in a job which involves long hours of routine and monotonous tasks which a machine could perform.
If machines perform the routine jobs which workers once did, what of the people who are made redundant? The answer to this lies in the notion that whilst a machine can perform millions of calculations per second, it cannot carry out the task of navigating its environment nearly as well as a human can. And there are countless examples of where people perform a job better than machines.
So, where we previously thought that machines were superior to humans, instead it seems to be the case that by using machines to perform the monotonous jobs that workers used to do, we are freeing up human resources to work on those other jobs which require a more adaptable kind of intelligence. It is important to remember that being competitive does not mean doing what everyone else is doing, but instead making the best use of the tools available.
While a human cannot calculate Pi to a thousand decimal places quickly, a machine can. On the other hand, while a computer cannot perform what is to a human a fairly straightforward task: such as maintaining a natural conversation, many people can do this with ease.
Since the explosion of the internet, almost all people in developed countries have access to a computer. While not everyone is inclined to jump into piles of computer code, there are still significant contributions to be made to algorithms by those workers whose jobs have been largely automated through AI, via, paradoxically, the face-to-face conversations which humans are so much better at.
Technology CFO, Finance Technology, Modern CFO skills & competencies, Artificial Intelligence, Financial Health, Division of labor, Automation, Human Resources, Systems applications and products, Productivity