Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 47, 2018

Want to keep up to date with the latest developments in finance, but you are short of time? Don't worry. CFO South Africa weekly collects 10 of the most important articles from international media for your convenience.

1. AI adoption advances, but foundational barriers remain
Survey respondents report the rapid adoption of AI and expect only a minimal effect on head count. Yet few companies have in place the foundational building blocks that enable AI to generate value at scale.

2. Cisco's CEO Sent an Extraordinary Email to All 75,000 Employees. Here's What Happened Next
We live in a world where anxiety and depression haves become more prevalent than ever. Suicide rates have been steadily increasing across the United States. These are just a few reasons why the importance of mental health has been thrust into the forefront. Back in June, the suicides of high-profile celebrities Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain brought further attention to the topic. Cisco chief executive Chuck Robbins recognised that there was a stigma around publicly addressing mental health, but he wanted to do something to help employees. So, he took advantage of the national conversation to take action.

3. Cyber risk measurement and the holistic cybersecurity approach
Damaging cyberattacks and streams of suspicious digital communications have made cybersecurity a top concern of the world’s business leaders. So say the overwhelming majority of responding board members in a recent McKinsey survey. Their answers are further evidence that cyber risk is now as important a priority for the leaders of public and private institutions as financial and legal risks. 

4. Why we need a 4-day workweek
Firms that operate a four-day week with no cut in pay or benefits, as proposed last week by John McDonnell, can see improvements in staff morale and health as well as revenue.

5. 5 Easy Ways to Make Your Business More Ecofriendly
With a few new policies and buy-in from your team, you can reduce your company's carbon footprint as well as your energy costs.

6. Digital Transformation Predictions for 2019
As someone with a 20-year career in ERP consulting, I can tell you that the market today is in significant flux. Here we present our predictions for how the ERP market and digital transformations will unfold in 2019...

7. Decision-makers Should Rely on Hybrid Forecasting Models
Just about every business depends on accurate forecasting. A classic example is a manager forecasting the amount of goods to produce or the level of inventories to keep. In the case of Uber, the ride-hailing firm requires sophisticated models to predict ride supply-and-demand, as well as how much personnel is needed for its customer service and support systems. Even hardware requirements can be predicted: Under-provisioning may lead to outages, but over-provisioning can be very costly. Forecasting can help find the sweet spot.

8. Africa’s overlooked business revolution
Global business leaders who misunderstand Africa run the risk of missing out on one of the 21st century’s great growth opportunities.

9. Tips for retaining new skills
Today’s worker must pursue a path of lifelong learning to stay current in a career. With full-time jobs and personal commitments, however, professionals may worry whether they’re going to retain the new skills that they’re picking up through training, workshops, and courses.

10. Quantum computing, not AI, will define our future
The word “quantum” gained currency in the late 20th century as a descriptor signifying something so significant it defied the use of common adjectives. For example, a “quantum leap” is a dramatic advancement (also an early 1990’s television series starring Scott Bakula). At best, that is an imprecise (though entertaining) definition. When “quantum” is applied to “computing,” however, we are indeed entering an era of dramatic advancement.