intelligent finance

Intelligent Finance in the Cloud – Benchmark Report

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Key Takeaways

⇨ Embracing cloud-based intelligent automation enables finance and accounting functions to optimize performance, reduce costs, and drive value-added activities, positioning organizations for success in the digital economy.

⇨ Finance executives must address the lack of awareness and understanding of SAP BTP component capabilities to harness the full potential of cloud-based intelligent automation for F&A processes.

⇨ Identifying and implementing the right mix of innovative technologies, such as SAP S/4HANA and SAP BTP, empowers organizations to transform their finance and accounting functions, ensuring they remain agile and competitive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Digital technologies powered by robotics and artificial intelligence have transformed the business landscape, and the finance and accounting (F&A) function is no exception. Intelligent automation offers finance leaders a significant opportunity to streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and drive innovation. As organizations increasingly shift to cloud deployments (private, hybrid, or public) to drive digital transformations, they unlock the potential for adopting cloud-based intelligent F&A automation.  This innovative approach provides added benefits such as increased scalability, cost reduction, and improved system integration. SAPinsider surveyed 170 finance community members in March and April 2023 to better understand the top business drivers, strategies, benefits, and challenges shaping how organizations approach cloud-based intelligent automation for finance and accounting.

The emergence of new technology (e.g., SAP S/4HANA, SAP BTP) that enables intelligent automation deployment across F&A processes is the primary factor driving how SAPinsider organizations approach cloud-based intelligent F&A automation. Finance leaders face mounting pressure to leverage new digital technologies to optimize financial performance, reduce costs, and mitigate financial risks.

The research identified some significant trends in the organizational priorities and challenges around cloud-based intelligent F&A automation adoption, some of which are:

  • Most survey respondents (61%) reported limited or no awareness of SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) and its capabilities to enable cloud-based intelligent finance functions. This may be part of why less than half of survey respondents (48%) said they were considering SAP BTP to enable cloud-based intelligent finance functions.
  • We learned 39% of survey respondents reported new technology (e.g., SAP S/4HANA, SAP BTP, etc.) enabling intelligent automation deployment across F&A processes as the top factor driving cloud-based intelligent F&A automation strategies.
  • The most common driver impacting how organizations approach SAP S/4HANA for Finance deployment is the demand for improved reporting, planning, and insights from finance (38 percent). This was also the top driver from 2022, even though the share of respondent organizations prioritizing this driver declined year over year.
  • Further, 42% of respondents said it was important or very important to be able to build, extend, and enhance SAP applications based on business needs without disrupting the existing operations. That and increasing financial closing efficiency (41%) represent the most important requirements SAPinsiders prioritize.

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