Every few years, a technological innovation comes along that’s hyped as the thing that will completely transform the way we all live and work. This time, the technology in question is AI, with news stories galore and companies around the world pivoting to incorporate AI and ML into their operations.

But is this time different? To find out, we spoke with Javier Delgado, COO of BNB, a Workday partner and customer.

For Delgado, there’s no question about whether AI will bring transformational change to the world: it’s already done it. “I think that generative AI is already revolutionising the world of work,” he said. Through automation, improved data analysis and as an enabler of innovation, AI has or is in the process of transforming the way we work – and live.

“Generative AI is already revolutionising the world of work.”

Javier Delgado Chief Operating Officer, Business Network Builders


First of all, through automation AI has already freed employees from the kind of repetitive, time-consuming tasks that dampen productivity. “The reality of that is that we’re helping people to become more efficient,” said Delgado. The potential to automate more grows every day. For business leaders, the trick will be finding which areas are best suited to automation and then automating them. “We need to be creative about how we use this automation, because it’s not the kind of automation we’re used to.”

AI can even help business leaders decide what parts of the organisation to automate, thanks to improved data analysis. The ability to mine vast amounts of unstructured data for improved insights has been growing for years. But “with AI, we can structure it in some way,” Delgado argued, and so we’ve never been more equipped to assess that data for unique insights that allow us to pursue new opportunities.

“We need to be creative about how we use this automation, because it’s not the kind of automation we’re used to.”

Javier Delgado Chief Operating Officer, Business Network Builders

Taken together, the ability to automate tasks and analyse more data than ever before is leading to a whole new world, defined by innovation. Delgado uses generative AIs, like ChatGPT, as personal brainstorming tools, helping him and his team to create new and exciting ideas.

The potential for AI to further transform business

However, Delgado believes we’ve only scratched the surface of the potential of generative AIs and how they’ll help businesses operate faster and more efficiently.

For one, Delgado argued that HR teams will be able to screen CVs and even equip interviewers with new, tailored questions for candidates. “It can really help to automate and streamline the recruitment process,” he said.

But it can also enhance the working experience for existing employees, too. Generative AI can be used to put complex data into simpler, friendlier terms, making it easier for finance teams to interpret it and bring new value to the business. While BNB themselves have recently started using generative AI to help managers to write performance reviews.

Could AI-powered chatbots even replace people in the interview process? Delgado wasn’t so keen here, at least for the professional services. At BNB, the human touch is still best for the initial stage of interviews. However, “in some industries like retail, where you’re conducting continuous recruiting of salespeople or people working at your stores, you may benefit from a first interview being conducted this way,” said Delgado. “But we personally who work in the professional services […] we value the human touch” above all else.

Elsewhere in the business, Delgado believes that there’s great potential for generative AI to analyse and summarise data, and then highlight risks and opportunities for the business. This is especially true in the finance organisation, where it can cut time to complete standard processes to near zero.

But, the real value of AI isn’t about looking at the way you work now and slotting it in. It’s in redesigning the whole way you work to spot new possibilities and then action them.

To do that, we need more strategic, data-driven and collaborative approaches to AI to make it a success. For that, Delgado says, we need visionaries within the business – people who are tech savvy, future thinking and, above all, agile. In professional services, “we need to rethink the way we approach business,” Delgado said, and we need to do it quickly.

Democratic access to data is key to ML success

Delgado argues that to get the most out of AI and ML, you need to have good data – and well-structured data at that.

Once you have the quality, volume and access capability, Delgado says that it’s then vital for you to open that data up to all relevant parties within the organisation. “I think one of the best ways to have good data quality is to have as democratic access to the data as possible,” he stated. Whilst upholding the highest standards of security, this is of the utmost importance for the future success of your organisation.

“I think one of the best ways to have good data quality is to have as democratic access to the data as possible.”

Javier Delgado Chief Operating Officer, Business Network Builders

Employees across the business will be able to make connections that not only you haven’t spotted, but potentially the ML algorithms haven’t picked up on yet either. In essence, this is a new age of opportunity for businesses, where they’ll be able to pursue new avenues and efficiencies they couldn’t dream of yesterday.

So how does this come back to the CFO and CHRO? Delgado says that AI and ML will enable them to be more collaborative than ever. With a more complete view of the business, and with greater insight they’ll be able to make better decisions about the future of the enterprise.

Posted in:  smartCFO Magazine

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