Jan 10, 2024

How to convince your CFO to invest in an AI helpdesk for IT

How to convince your CFO to invest in an AI helpdesk for IT

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The integration of Artificial Intelligence in business is not just a choice anymore but a strategic imperative. As you gear up to present your case for investing in an AI helpdesk to optimize employee IT support to the C-Suite executives, the hardest to convince will probably be the CFO – given their conservative nature and preference for well-grounded decisions.

CFOs, known for their careful planning and focus on concrete returns, are naturally wary of uncertainties associated with all emerging technologies. This skepticism stems from their core responsibilities, which revolve around risk management, investment decisions, financial reporting, budgeting, and tax planning.

Essentially, a CFO's role is centered on mitigating and managing risks, ensuring the company adheres to its financial and strategic objectives as communicated to investors. With a set budget, they aim for efficiency and a solid return on shareholders' investment. Introducing a substantial expense like AI could prompt concerns about fund allocation and the potential impact on the bottom line.

Convincing your CFO to invest in an AI helpdesk for employees requires a strategic and well-articulated approach. So, if you are wondering how to approach this discussion, we ‘ve got you covered. Here are some tips to address the key concerns that matter to them and help you make a compelling case.

Align the AI helpdesk with business objectives

Understand your company’s financial and strategic objectives and clearly showcase how the AI helpdesk aligns seamlessly with them. Reduced employee turnover, increased productivity, operational cost reduction and improved security are among your company’s objectives, and these are all areas that an AI helpdesk can have significant impact on. Highlight exactly how it will affect these areas, while contributing to long-term cost savings. Clearly articulate how it fits into the overall digital and AI transformation strategy and contributes to the company's future success.

Focus on business outcomes

Most CFOs rely on data-driven insights. While cost considerations are crucial, tangible business outcomes are also important. A common belief between a CIO or Head of IT support and a CFO is that the opportunities they explore must be credible solutions addressing real business challenges. Illustrating an AI investment’s impactful outcome can help you make a compelling case.

Consider this example that can be taken out of your potential vendor’s case studies and used during your CFO pitch. Through the implementation of the AI employee helpdesk, we've streamlined the resolution process for over 50,000 internal inquiries that were previously managed through traditional channels. This not only significantly improved the employee experience but also resulted in annual cost savings of $1 million, providing substantial resources for strategic reinvestment in our workforce. This kind of demonstrable success resonates strongly with CFOs, offering a compelling narrative of your AI initiatives’ benefits.

Present an AI helpdesk cost-benefit analysis

Prepare a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis that outlines the potential return on investment (ROI). Showcase the efficiency gains, reduction in support and opportunity costs, and the positive impact on employee satisfaction and retention. Focus on productivity gains and emphasize how an AI helpdesk can automate routine tasks, allowing human resources to focus on more complex and strategic activities. Most AI vendors offer ROI tools to accurately calculate your investment’s payback. You can check out ours here !

Demonstrate how the AI helpdesk solves cross-company problems

A CFO looks for solutions capable of breaking down departmental silos and addressing enterprise-wide challenges . Presenting an AI initiative geared solely towards one business unit won't hold attention for more than five minutes. To ensure a more engaging discussion, highlight how the AI helpdesk has a cross-company impact, benefits the employees of all departments, seamlessly integrates with existing software and aims to enhance overall business outcomes.

For instance, explain how the AI helpdesk will free up time for Finance department employees by allowing them to instantly solve their issues, without losing time waiting for their problems to be resolved. This will enable them to focus on their core work that has nothing to do with waiting for their account password to be reset! Such discussions about holistic solutions that positively impact multiple facets of the company truly capture a CFO’s interest.

Emphasize the importance of implementing AI sooner than later

Efficiency gains are crucial, especially in inflationary times. Whether your company is rapidly growing or aiming to streamline operations, highlight the immediate and long-term gains from deploying AI now. Demonstrate how it prevents the multiplication of manual work, avoiding the need for costly human talent and reducing errors that could cost your company a lot.

In the AI landscape, postponing implementation is akin to impeding progress. AI's efficiency grows exponentially with automation, contributing to better workflows. Emphasize the competitive disadvantage of delaying AI adoption—every day counts. Your competitors are accelerating operational efficiencies, and the cost of inaction becomes steeper.

Talk about scalability and risk mitigation

Discuss the scalability of your AI helpdesk solution. Explain how it can grow with the company's expanding needs, ensuring that the investment remains relevant and valuable in the long term. Address any potential risks or concerns proactively. Show that you've considered potential challenges and have plans in place to mitigate these risks, providing a sense of confidence in the investment.

You could also propose a pilot program to test the effectiveness of the AI helpdesk on a smaller scale. This allows the CFO to see tangible results before committing to full-scale implementation.

Outline your path to business value creation

When it comes to CFOs, they’re not particularly intrigued by incremental gains in team efficiency resulting from upgrading legacy IT tools. What truly captures their attention are concrete business outcomes, robust ROI, and swift time-to-value.

How is the proposed AI helpdesk enhancing productivity? What returns can be strategically reallocated? Can you reliably anticipate these benefits over an extended horizon, say, at least five years ahead? Now, that's a conversation that resonates with your CFO. Therefore, focus the discussion on success outcomes. Ultimately, that's the key to securing funding for your project and, more importantly, creating substantial value for the business.

Crafting a persuasive narrative for your AI helpdesk investment

Translate these insights into a compelling narrative that not only justifies the technology but paints a picture of AI's transformative impact on company-wide daily operations, employee satisfaction, and overall efficiency. Investing in an AI helpdesk isn't just an upgrade; it's a strategic leap. By following our tips, you're not just presenting a tool; you're unveiling a visionary path for the future of IT support within your company.