AI is a major game changer. AI could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030, more than the current output of China and India combined. Of this, $6.6 trillion is likely to come from increased productivity and $9.1 trillion is likely to come from consumption side effects.
Pricewaterhouse Cooper’s (PwC) third annual AI Predictions Report has highlighted the importance of focusing on the fundamentals in preparation for large-scale AI projects.
One of the big questions in their recent report was analyzing over 1000 respondents (200 CEOs) in the USA Survey and asked: How far along are companies in their usage of AI? The AI change momentum is building with increased usage based on the survey results:
- 7% – Don’t use AI currently but are looking into it
- 14% – Have tested a few proof of concepts with limited success
- 21% – We have a few promising proofs of concepts and are looking to scale
- 25% – We have processes that are fully enabled by AI with widespread adoption
- 33% – We have started implementing with limited AI use cases.
These are all promising growth signs that confidence in AI is growing, as increasingly more US companies are ramping up AI investments. Fifty-two percent of the PWC respondents have accelerated their AI approach in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. These “accelerating” companies cite their top changes as new use cases for AI (40%) and increased AI investments (also 40%). 86% of respondents say that AI will be a “mainstream technology” at their company in 2021.
The top benefits highlighted were: 1.) Create better customer experiences, 2.) Improve Decision-Making, 3.) Innovate products and Services 4.) Achieve cost savings and 5.) operate more efficiently and increase productivity.
The research also highlighted that achieving the benefits is not easy as the costs savings advantage are barely breaking even. The report stresses that: “Breaking even isn’t necessarily bad for an investment that could be the foundation of your company’s future. But it’s possible to invest smarter, for better returns right now and long into the future.”
The report also identified five priorities that will ultimately lead to transformation: Focus on the day-to-day AI.
This is a key message as AI is not a marathon its a long term investment strategy and every step of the way makes a major difference.
Incremental productivity gains through the automation of in-house processes will aid efficient operations and lay the groundwork for the future.
- A citizen-led approach to up-skilling. As well as offering training, provide opportunities and incentives for your team to apply these new learnings into practical capabilities.
- Be proactive about responsibility. Avoid underestimating or becoming complacent about the real risks and challenges of AI.
- Integrate AI across all operations. Use it in conjunction with data and other technologies across all functions and business units.
- Redesign an AI-friendly business model. Find ways to integrate and measure AI’s cognitive assets to deliver value along with your existing human and physical assets.
What is compelling is the focus that AI must start crossing the entire organization. The imperative is ensuring that your company is already effectively sharing data, you have the required subject matter expertise, you have enabled governance and AI models across teams and functions as breaking down functional operating silos is key for AI success.
Based on my executive leadership experiences, building the organizational transformation muscle is one of the key success factors in advancing AI. This is why I have been writing so consistently that board directors and CEO’s must accelerate their knowledge know- how of AI and ensure their leadership teams have build new skills to lead AI effectively forward.