As the pace of AI-related technology development accelerates, it is becoming a key driver of innovation for new products, services and business models. Our survey of 30 of the world’s largest companies identifies what the best AI deployers are doing, and where others may be falling behind.
Survey identifies eight ways to better deploy AI
To better understand how companies are deploying AI, we interviewed senior leaders at 30 of the world’s largest companies. Our results are not only for the largest or most advanced players, however. Our eight key insights are brainfood for any organization – whether you need to speed up your AI adoption or simply fill in selected gaps.
1. The field is moving rapidly from experimental to applied technology
AI has gone from ‘something to look out for’ to being widely deployed. Yet, wide scope and scale is rare, despite being a goal for many companies for the next three years. For instance, one-quarter of those surveyed have deployed Robotic Process Automation (RPA) at scale, but 83 percent expect to do so in the next three years. Similarly, 17 percent use cognitive computing and machine learning at scale, while around 50 percent expect to do so.
My takeaway: Technology is ready to add value if we are ready to deploy it.
2. Automation, AI, analytics and low-code platforms are converging
Companies find that technologies are more effective when deployed together rather than in isolation. Current trends enable this, such as low-code platforms allowing multiple technologies to be integrated and used; in-house talent working across technologies; and leadership ensuring a coordinated approach.
My takeaway: Technologies should be viewed as complementary, being mixed and matched to achieve specific business goals.
3. Enterprise demand is growing
Interviewees are investing heavily in AI in order to move from functional-level deployment into broader areas of their businesses. Investing in talent is key. Most said their investments in AI-related talent and infrastructure will increase by 50-100 percent in the next three years. Five already employ an average of 375 full-time employees on AI and automation and, we estimate, spend around USD75 million each on AI talent. What’s more, they expect staffing levels to continue to grow, with each having 500-600 FTEs working on AI in the next three years.
My takeaway: AI investments will increase significantly over the next three years.