Deloitte provides CFOs guide to cognitive technology


Deloitte on 12 April 2018, launched the third instalment of its Crunch Time report – The CFO’s guide to cognitive technology, articulating that cognitive technology is already being used in the Legal and HR fields and it’s beginning to reshape Finance. Moreover, smart machines are on the rise everywhere. We see them in customer experience, product development, manufacturing and operations.

Crunch Time III acknowledges that even consumers are experiencing smart machines in their everyday lives, from driving directions on a smart phone to music playlists, personal fitness and more – the cognitive future has arrived. CFO’s, however, have remained on the side-lines, sceptical that cognitive could boost the performance of the finance function. In fact, in Deloitte’s latest quarterly survey, only 42% of surveyed CFO’s said their teams are familiar with such emerging technologies.

CFO’s, however, need to acknowledge that cognitive technologies have been adopted in other areas of business and it should inspire Finance to start learning about them, experimenting with them, and figuring out how to use them. At the core the goal, as with any finance technology initiative, is to create a more efficient, insightful and controlled Finance function.

The report highlights that five cognitive tools are ascendant in Finance and each can be used independently, or in combination with others. These tools are: machine learning, robotic cognitive automation, natural language processing (NLP), natural language generation (NLG) and speech recognition. 

On the flipside of the coin it’s understandable that many CFO’s are concerned about the impact of cognitive technologies on people. Automation in many shared services centres, for example, is already driving headcount reductions – a trend that is likely to accelerate.

To stay ahead, some CFO’s have noted that they are using this opportunity to identify individuals who are looking to expand their skills and become true business-minded partners. Additionally, they are also looking to identify the next generation of leaders who will drive these changes to reshape how finance work gets done.

For more insights from Crunch Time 3: The CFO’s guide to cognitive technology, visit


About Author

Thabo Mphahlele is the BizNis Africa Head of Sales and Marketing. Mphahlele was previously MultiChoice Production Support Analyst responsible for developing and monitoring applications. In addition, Mphahlele develops and automates batch scripts and is responsible for the daily infrastructure maintenance at MultiChoice. As a Production Support Analyst, he is responsible for incident analysis solving , developing and constructing business reports for SQL and Oracle and implement change controls for the business. Additional responsibility includes monitoring system performance via SOA, Kibaba (Elasticsearch), H.P BSM, HP Sitescope. Mphahlele is responsible for creating infrastructure performance reports through HP Ops Analytics, monitoring payments via Splunk and in-house built-in tool and disaster recovery simulation and testing. At Nashua Mobile, he was responsible for application development and enhancing the web sites At South West Gauteng College, he was the IT Technician and Network Administrator. During his tenure at Double Digit Media, he was he focused on application and web site development for new and existing clients Mphahlele contributes as a Content Manager for BizNis Africa.

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