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AI is a priority for organizations, but only few have implemented enterprise-wide strategy, says IDC report

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A recent International Data Corporation (IDC) survey of global organizations that are already using artificial intelligence (AI) solutions found only 25% have developed an enterprise-wide AI strategy.

At the same time, half the organizations surveyed see AI as a priority and two thirds are emphasizing an “AI First” culture.

“Organizations that embrace AI will drive better customer engagements and have accelerated rates of innovation, higher competitiveness, higher margins, and productive employees. Organizations worldwide must evaluate their vision and transform their people, processes, technology, and data readiness to unleash the power of AI and thrive in the digital era,” said the Program Vice President, Artificial Intelligence Strategies, Ritu Jyoti.

The primary drivers behind these organizations’ AI initiatives were to improve productivity, business agility, and customer satisfaction via automation. Faster time to market with new products and services was another leading reason for implementing AI.

The cost of AI solutions, a lack of skilled personnel, and bias in the data were identified as the primary factors holding back the implementation of AI technology in these organizations.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • More than 60% of organizations reported changes in their business model in association with their AI adoption.
  • IT operations is the number 1 business area for employing AI, followed closely by customer service and fraud/risk management.
  • Trust, bias, and ethics considerations are gaining importance: nearly 50% of organizations reported having a formalized framework to encourage considerations of ethical use, potential bias risks, and trust implications, and close to 25% have established a senior management position to ensure adherence.
  • Most organizations reported some failures among their AI projects with a quarter of them reporting up to 50% failure rate; lack of skilled staff and unrealistic expectations were identified as the top reasons for failure.

“For many organizations, the rapid rise of digital transformation has pushed AI to the top of the corporate agenda. However, as AI accelerates toward the mainstream, organizations will need to have an effective AI strategy aligned with business goals and innovative business models to thrive in the digital era,” noted Jyoti.

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The IDC report, Artificial Intelligence Global Adoption Trends & Strategies (IDC #US45120919), summarizes the results of a global survey of 2,473 organizations that are using artificial intelligence (AI) solutions in their operations, either developing them in-house, using COTS, or a combination of both.

Key findings relate to these organizations’ AI strategy, culture, and challenges that have held/hold organizations back from implementing AI; business process areas with focus for AI solutions; AI data–readiness initiatives; and production deployment trends and training and inferencing growth expected within the next 12–24 months.

The survey was conducted in May 2019.

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