4Sight pioneers new era in AI-delivered integrated reporting

Johannesburg, 28 Jun 2024
Tertius Zitzke, CEO, 4Sight.
Tertius Zitzke, CEO, 4Sight.

In what the company believes is a world first, 4Sight Holdings delivered its 2024 4Sight Annual Integrated Report (4AIr) using artificial intelligence (AI).

“4Sight is proud to pioneer a groundbreaking approach to corporate annual reporting. By leveraging cutting-edge AI technology, we showcased our 2024 Integrated Annual Report, reflecting not only our company's performance but also encapsulating our commitment to digital AI transformation,” says Tertius Zitzke, 4Sight Group CEO.

With a 2023 survey by the IBM Institute for Business Value showing that over 75% of CEOs believe AI will deliver a competitive advantage to their business in future, the race is on to embrace this advanced intelligent technology. However, only 30% of their senior executives think these companies are ready.

To demonstrate the transformative and impactful application of AI in any business, 4Sight published its AI-generated integrated report on its website on Thursday, 27 June following the presentation event, which took place at its head office in Fourways, Johannesburg and online via a Microsoft Teams broadcast.

At the event, 4Sight showcased the AI solution used to deliver the 2024 4AIr alongside other 4Sight innovations around AI in the workplace.

This included AI-driven environment, social and governance (ESG) solutions, as well as business solutions that demonstrate a day in the life of an exec who uses 4AI in their business across various tasks, like preparing documents for:

  • Board of Directors meetings.
  • Exco meetings.
  • Manco meetings.

“Recent research by Harvard Business School found that Boston Consulting Group consultants who used ChatGPT-4 finished 12.2% more tasks and achieved results that were 40% higher quality, on average, than those who did not use the tool,” elaborates Zitzke.

Additional demonstrations showcased the 4AI Business DNA offering for people, sales and marketing, operations, finance and innovation.

  • Growth: Customer 360, sales and marketing.
  • Operations: Unique operational system requirements with a focus on the convergence between OT and IT systems.
  • Finance: Financial operational efficiencies, automation and real-time and future predictive capabilities.
  • Innovation: Product and technology innovation utilising the digital transformation tools available.

Ravi Bhat, Chief Technology and Solutions Officer at Microsoft Africa, spoke on their investment into AI on the African continent, and the support towards solution partners using AI technologies.

“This unmissable event showcased what local business leaders can do with AI from the top down today with the right investment,” asserts Zitzke.

The technology used to develop the 4AIr forms part of 4Sight’s R20 million investment into research and development aimed at building the company’s AI-enabling intellectual property for the 2025 financial year.

“Phase one of this AI-led innovation will become available on our platform and the platforms of our software vendors like Microsoft, Sage, Aspentech and AVEVA in Q2 FY2025, which commences on 30 August. The next phases will roll-out thereafter,” explains Zitzke.

Zitzke adds that the 4AIr project was conceptualised after he completed the AI: Artificial Intelligence and ML: Machine Intelligence for Business and Society certificate with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) & Sloan in the first half of 2024.

“This spurred the 4Sight investment into AI solutions, which we branded as 4AI for FY2025. Defining the roles and responsibilities of solution providers like 4Sight, and the correct way to deliver these systems and solutions to market, are critical steps needed today to support the future of 4Sight Holdings and our partners,” he adds.

According to Zitzke, the world has already entered the fifth industrial revolution (5IR). “Industry 5.0 focuses on collaboration between humans and machines, enhancing human work with machines, rather than replacing it.”

This era talks to customer experience and customer 360 and is marked by major advances in AI, robotics, the internet of things (IOT) and biotech, leading to more personalised and innovative solutions.

“We expect continued demand for AI digital transformation solutions as businesses in every sector choose technology and innovation to reinvent and improve their operations,” continues Zitzke.

“In this regard, our goal remains the same – to quantum-leap our customers and partners into the realm of Enterprise 5.0 by facilitating the convergence of IT, OT (operational technology) and the business environment (BE). By leveraging data, hybrid cloud and security, we enhance visibility and decision-making in a process we call 'foresight', taking customers and partners on a journey from no sight to 4Sight AI.”

Supporting the transition to a more sustainable future for society through ESG principles in a responsible and economically viable manner is another future goal for 4Sight.

“Our aim for the future of 4Sight is to become the trusted advisor on business solutions that use AI for our customers and partners within various industry verticals, specifically leveraging our greatest resource – our people,” explains Zitzke.

“With our continued focus on the burgeoning field of AI, we are currently in the process of creating scalable AI solutions, further solidifying our position as a leader in technological innovation. These AI solutions are designed to be adaptable, capable of meeting a wide range of needs, and are a testament to 4Sight’s forward-thinking approach.”

With the approach, Zitzke believes that 4Sight Holdings is not just keeping pace with the rapid advancements in technology but driving the change at the forefront of AI-led innovation.

“Our commitment to innovation, our unique strategy of creating our own IP and our ongoing development of market-leading solutions make 4Sight a force to be reckoned with in the technology industry. We are not just providers; we are pioneers, shaping the future of technology.”

With technology-driven innovation a pivotal driver of business success and resilience, Zitzke is confident that the demand for digitalisation initiatives will continue to surpass supply, which will support company growth in FY2025.

“Our robust succession and skills development strategies, with a pronounced emphasis on AI, positions us favourably to scale and meet the escalating demand for solutions in FY2025 and beyond,” he concludes.