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AI will drive revenue, profits and shareholder value

Practical business uses for artificial intelligence (AI) are relatively low at the moment but research suggests that AI will be a driver of increased revenue, productivity, profitability and shareholder value for businesses within two years. They study, by consultants Protiviti in collaboration with ESI ThoughtLab, found that just 16 per cent of business leaders surveyed perceive they are currently garnering significant value from advanced AI. However, AI programs are being fast-tracked and that number is expected to more than triple to 52 per cent within the next two years.

The report, Competing in the Cognitive Age: How companies will transform their businesses and drive value through advanced AI, also found that nearly a third of all respondents perceive their organization’s use of advanced AI is ahead of their competitors, and 92 per cent of those respondents expect to see high/very high value from AI in two years. On average, the surveyed companies spent $36 million each on AI in their last fiscal year, and they expect this average to grow eight per cent over the next two years. “AI is not solely the domain of ‘born digital’ companies; it’s for all organizations,” said Protiviti’s Madhumita Bhattacharyya, managing director in the technology consulting practice. “Executives are realizing that adoption and significant investment are required to maintain competitiveness in the market. With access to increased data from multiple touch points and powerful computing technologies, identifying the right applications that are relevant and aligned to the business goals is the equation that companies are trying to solve.”

However, companies are also facing several challenges in the deployment of AI, the top five being:

  1. uncertain ROI;
  2. cybersecurity/data privacy;
  3. deciding on best applications;
  4. regulatory constraints; and
  5. limited AI skills/talent.

The data is based on a survey of 300 senior executives across functions, industries and company sizes in the third quarter of 2018.

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