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Enterprise AI moves beyond experimentation

The research data showed organisations are taking steps to prepare employees and business leaders for the future of work

Discussions on AI will feature prominently at the WEF annual meeting this week
Discussions on AI will feature prominently at the WEF annual meeting this week

The vast majority (90 per cent) of C-level executives report measurable benefits from artificial intelligence (AI) within their organisations, according to a new study released today at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.


The research report, Leadership in the Age of AI, released by Infosys, also revealed that almost three quarters (73 per cent) of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their AI deployments have already transformed the way they do business.


The research findings point to a fundamental shift in how enterprises operate as AI takes hold. Enterprises are moving beyond the experimentation phase with AI, deploying AI technologies more broadly and realising benefits across their business, the report states.


Additionally, the data showed organisations are taking steps to prepare employees and business leaders for the future of work, with 53 per cent of respondents indicating that their organisation has increased training in the job functions most affected by AI deployments.


“While it’s fair to say that, like most promising new technologies, there has been a tremendous amount of hype around AI, it turns out that the vast majority of enterprises with AI deployments are realising clear and measureable results,” said Mohit Joshi, president, Infosys.


“AI, as the research shows, is becoming core to business strategy, and is compelling business leaders to alter the way they hire, train and inspire teams, and the way they compete and foster innovation. Industry disruption from AI is no longer imminent, it is here.


"The organisations that embrace AI with a clearly defined strategy and use AI to amplify their workforce rather than replace it, will take the lead, and those that don’t will fall behind or find themselves irrelevant.”


Key findings of the research:


Enterprise AI moves beyond experimentation: AI deployments are no longer imminent but are becoming pervasive as 86 per cent of organisations surveyed have middle- or late-stage AI deployments and view AI as a major facilitator of future business operations. Eighty per cent of respondents who said they’ve seen at least some measurable benefits from AI agreed or strongly agreed that their organisation had a defined strategy for deployment. Fifty-three per cent of all respondents said that their industry has already experienced disruption due to artificial intelligence technologies


Beyond automation, the benefits of AI span the business value chain: while a majority of organisations (66 per cent) start off using AI to automate routine or inefficient processes, businesses in later stages of AI deployment are leveraging the technology to innovate and differentiate. For example, 80 per cent of IT decision makers at organisations in later stages of AI deployment reported that they are using AI to augment existing solutions, or build new business-critical solutions and services to optimise insights and the consumer experience. Forty-two per cent of these organisations also expect significant impact in research and development in the next five years


ROI market and industry breakdown: India, the United States and China led geographies with the most respondents stating that their organisation has realised direct, tangible results from deploying AI technologies with 75 per cent, 71 per cent and 61 per cent respectively. Australia trailed behind the leading geographies with 57 per cent followed by the United Kingdom (42 per cent), Germany (40 per cent) and France (33 per cent)


Investing in people is key to AI success: 77 per cent of respondents surveyed were confident that employees in their organisation can be trained for the new job roles AI technologies will create. Respondents showed commitment to this belief by ranking training and recruitment as the top areas of investment (46 per cent and 44 per cent respectively) in order for AI technologies to make an impact.


The total sample size for the research included 1,053 global C-level executives as well as IT decision makers (ITDMs) and influencers of AI technology purchases within their organisations.


These companies ranged in size from 500 to more than 5,000 employees, and from $500,000 to more than $1bn in revenues.


The World Economic Forum annual meeting runs 23-26 January in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.


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