UPDATED 22:41 EDT / JULY 08 2019


IDC report shows AI is a priority, but few enterprises are ready

About two-thirds of companies that have adopted artificial intelligence technologies are also trying to develop an “AI-first culture,” but just a quarter of those firms have a broad strategy in place to achieve that goal.

That’s according to a new International Data Corp. survey of 2,473 organizations in May that was released today. It also found that painless AI deployments are elusive for the vast majority of enterprises and that a significant number of such projects are likely to fail.

The survey findings were published in IDC’s Artificial Intelligence Global Adoption Trends & Strategies report, which focuses on enterprises’ AI strategies and culture, as well as the implementation challenges they face and their “AI data readiness initiatives.”

“Organizations that embrace AI will drive better customer engagements and have accelerated rates of innovation, higher competitiveness, higher margins, and productive employees,” said IDC’s Artificial Intelligence Strategies Vice President Ritu Jyoti. “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.”

The survey found that most companies blame the cost of AI technologies, biased data and a lack of suitably skilled workers as the biggest obstacles in their way when it comes to AI adoption. The skills shortage and unrealistic expectations were found to be the two main reasons for a 50% failure rate with AI projects.

Still, the survey found that there were plenty of success stories too. For example, 60% of firms reported making positive changes to their business models thanks to their adoption of AI technologies, and 50% said those successes inspired them to create formal frameworks to encourage the ethical use of and potential bias risks and trust implications of AI. Some 25% more companies have since created senior management positions to ensure adherence to these frameworks, IDC said.

“For many organizations, the rapid rise of digital transformation has pushed AI to the top of the corporate agenda,” Jyoti continued. “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.”

The IDC survey seems to tally with other recent reports that AI’s continued adoption in the enterprises is all but inevitable. A recent Gartner Inc. report from January for instance said that AI adoption had grown by 270% in the last four years, with the number of new projects launched tripling in the last 12 months alone. The same report added that the “enterprise AI market” would be worth $6.14 billion by 2022.

Meanwhile, a recent report by communications firm Edelman Holdings Inc. found that 90% of C-suite executives believe AI will become the “next technological revolution,” citing use cases such as smart homes and autonomous cars.

Image: TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay

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