While customers perceive that artificial intelligence (AI) will allow brands to deliver what they want when they want it, there remains a widespread lack of understanding among enterprises of the potential benefits for AI to solve real-world business problems. The biggest corporate challenge to implementing an intelligent business strategy is cultural resistance (49%), according to a new research report, "AI2020: The Global State of Intelligent Enterprise" by IQPC's Intelligent Automation Network.
Very few (less than 5%) of the 430 respondents surveyed have established an intelligent enterprise (IE) and nearly 35% either hadn't begun or had no plans to establish IE technologies such as AI and intelligent automation. However, the survey found that more than half (54%) hope to have IE established by 2020.
The report found that there remains a widespread lack of understanding of the potential benefits for artificial intelligence to solve real-world business problems. However, nearly half (47%) of survey respondents felt that the most significant impact AI and IE tools will have on their business is helping them stay ahead of the competition. The focus to date has largely been on adopting AI as a technology rather than applying AI as a tool to solve existing problems.
"AI promises a world of insights, analytics and business smarts," says Geena Monaco, Content Manager, Intelligent Automation Week. "Sectors such as banking and financial services, defense and retail are already reaping the benefits as early adopters of AI."
Barriers to Innovation
The path to establishing IE can be fraught with risks and challenges, such as failure to implement governance and regulatory frameworks, a lack of long-term IE strategy and a lack of in-market case studies and best practice guidance. The need to change business culture, rapid changes in technology and competing priorities are among the major inhibitors to a delayed response to AI.
"Our survey found that industry cultural resistance is the biggest enemy of automation," explains Monaco. "Business leaders may be keen to support an automation program but often harbor serious doubts and deep-seated fear for their own survival."
There is a strong consensus that there will be new job opportunities due to the implementation of IE. This awareness illustrates that management is open to developing talent in their organization to meet the demands of this new technology and recruit new skills. Predictive analytics, one of the top intelligent technologies, can streamline processes and help firms avoid gaps in productivity.
AI will automate some jobs, particularly the dirty, dangerous, or dull work that people don't want to do - everything from sewer reconnaissance to repetitive factory work.
The skills needed for future employment include critical thinking and problem solving, good communication and teamwork, leadership, initiative, creativity and the willingness to leverage the current technology.
The IQPC report studied the intelligent enterprise at various industry sectors, including oil and gas, pharma and healthcare, defense and security and financial services.