Budget constraints remain the top obstacle to new technology investments by companies, although at a diminished level compared with September, according to a recent survey of corporate finance leaders.
About half of respondents were already in the process of adopting new technologies to support finance functions, according to the survey, which was conducted by Hanover Research on behalf of U.S. finance software provider OneStream. The vast majority of the remaining respondents (43%) said they were planning to do so this year or in 2024.
However, some finance leaders said they were facing obstacles when it comes to new technology investments across the broader organization, with more than a quarter saying such challenges could be an implementation barrier. Lack of budget support topped the list of hurdles at 38%, down from 51% when OneStream sponsored a similar survey in September.
The latest survey, released earlier this month, found that many technology-minded finance leaders are prioritizing artificial intelligence adoption in particular. Forty-three percent of respondents said they were investing in or planning to invest in AI or machine learning. The finding comes in the wake of the launch of ChatGPT, a popular generative AI tool created by Microsoft-backed OpenAI.
“It’s amazing to see how companies are jumping on the [AI] bandwagon,” John O'Rourke, vice president of communications and brand marketing at OneStream, told CFO Dive. “They’re trying to figure out ways to use the technology to make better decisions.”
Respondents said ChatGPT might be useful for finance functions such as planning and analysis (47%), reporting (34%), accounting (29%) and forecasting (28%). Only 6% said they didn’t believe ChatGPT will be useful to finance teams.
Besides budget constraints, other technology deployment challenges cited by finance leaders include technical skill level of employees (35%), return on investment questions (33%), integration with existing applications (31%), technical issues (30%) and data breach/cybersecurity concerns (29%).
Hanover Research polled 516 finance decision makers across North America in March. Respondents worked at companies representing a range of industries and revenue categories. Twenty-seven percent were employed by companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenue.