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### Optimizing AI Implementation Strategies for CFOs: Insights from a McKinsey Specialist on Unleashing Untapped Potential

Generative AI can be a tool used to “reimagine your business and your industry,” Alexander Sukharev…

Most corporations are currently exploring generative AI from a productivity perspective. Consider virtual assistants as an example. However, leveraging this technology to redefine a business represents an ambitious long-term objective that necessitates substantial effort.

At the Fortune Global Forum held this week in Abu Dhabi, generative AI was among the topics discussed on Monday. I observed a live conversation between Alexander Sukharevsky, the senior partner and global leader of QuantumBlack, an AI firm owned by McKinsey, and Fortune CEO Alan Murray, regarding the impact of generative AI.

Sukharevsky emphasized that while 90% of the world prioritizes productivity, generative AI can serve as a catalyst to “reimagine your business and your industry.” He expressed his enthusiasm for this aspect and his extensive work with numerous clients in this domain.

Highlighting generative AI as the new entrant in the field, Sukharevsky pointed out that it represents only a quarter of AI’s potential. He also mentioned the maturation of other technologies such as virtual reality and Web 3.0 focusing on tokenization, the process of converting assets into digital tokens.

Sukharevsky proposed a transformative shift by combining these technologies to contemplate their implications for various industries. However, he estimated that merely 10% of companies are presently engaged in such fundamental reevaluation.

According to a recent McKinsey report titled “Gen AI: A guide for CFOs,” authored by Ankur Agrawal, Ben Ellencweig, Rohit Sood, and Michele Tam, CFOs are advised to identify a select few impactful use cases for generative AI within their function. The report underscores that while Gen AI harbors revolutionary potential, it does not alter the fundamental principles of finance and economics.

The report stresses the importance of finance chiefs prioritizing the company’s most value-enhancing projects, whether AI-related or not, to maximize value creation. It also emphasizes the role of a top-tier CFO in ensuring that generative AI initiatives receive adequate capital allocation for fostering profitable growth.

In his dialogue with Murray, Sukharevsky highlighted the immediate productivity benefits of generative AI, enabling rapid value creation based on existing resources. He suggested that such applications allow executives to educate themselves and their organizations about the technology while focusing on risk management. Sukharevsky also noted that approximately 70% of employees’ tasks could potentially be automated.

Sukharevsky expressed his belief in witnessing a significant platform shift, emphasizing that such shifts occur when production costs decrease significantly. He articulated, “I truly believe it’s the first time in the last 15 years that we see a real platform shift.”


Artem Gonopolskiy assumed the role of EVP and CFO at Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc., effective December 1. With over 18 years of experience at Atlas, Gonopolskiy previously served as the interim CFO since June 15. He initially joined Atlas in 2005 as a senior financial analyst and has held various leadership positions within the finance department, including SVP of financial planning and analysis.

Karen Sedgwick was appointed as EVP and CFO at Sempra (NYSE: SRE), a North American energy infrastructure company, effective January 1. Sedgwick, who currently holds the positions of chief administrative officer and chief human resources officer, has accumulated 31 years of experience in diverse financial leadership roles within the Sempra group of companies.

Big deal

A recent research collaboration between Accenture (NYSE: ACN), Disability:IN, and the American Association of People with Disabilities revealed that companies leading in disability inclusion experience higher revenue, net income, and profit growth. The report underscores the increasing business case for hiring individuals with disabilities, with leading companies outperforming others in revenue, net income, and economic profit. Moreover, these frontrunners demonstrate a 25% productivity advantage over industry peers.

Going deeper

A new report featured in Harvard Business Review, titled How Companies Can Build Trustworthy AI Assistants, delves into the challenges associated with autonomous agents and offers insights on responsible deployment strategies.


“People are posting a lot less on public social media. And so your feed is no longer made up of your high school friends or your prom date from seven years ago. Now you’re just seeing people who are professionally entertaining you.”

—Sasha Kaletsky, cofounder and managing partner at Creator Ventures, shared this observation at the Fortune Global Forum in Abu Dhabi. The discussion focused on the evolution of social media platforms into global business content distribution channels, altering the nature of user interactions.

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Last modified: February 18, 2024
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