CXO

CIO Jury: Two-thirds of tech leaders are not implementing AI

Though the AI and machine learning market is growing rapidly, 8 out of 12 tech leaders said they do not yet have plans to implement the technology.

Enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning platforms are poised to grow exponentially in the coming years, research shows. Revenue for cognitive and AI systems will hit $12.5 billion in 2017—up nearly 60% percent from last year, according to a recent IDC report. By 2020, these AI systems will top $46 billion.

Leading enterprise use cases in 2017 include quality management and recommendations, diagnosis and treatment, customer service, and security and fraud investigations, IDC found. But when we asked our panel of tech leaders "Has your company implemented, or is it planning to implement, AI or machine learning?" just four out of 12 CIOs said yes, while eight said no.

"Many organizations are beginning to explore artificial intelligence's possibilities," said Bill Briggs, CTO of Deloitte Consulting, who was not a member of this month's CIO Jury. In Deloitte's 2016-2017 Global CIO Survey, 64% of IT executives identified cognitive technologies as the emerging tech they would invest in over the next two years. "These leaders recognize the value machine intelligence can help generate, and are starting to fast-track deployments," Briggs said.

One reason for the relatively small number of adoptions is a skills gap: Some 42% of tech workers and leaders said that their company lacks the skills necessary to implement and support AI and machine learning, according to a 2016 Tech Pro Research survey. Almost as many respondents said that all implementation and support work would be done in-house when the time comes, and that their company is working to address AI and machine learning in the corporate security plan.

SEE: IT leader's guide to the future of artificial intelligence (Tech Pro Research)

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Image: iStockphoto/Jirsak

Among those companies already using or planning to use these technologies, the top uses were research and consumer analysis, the Tech Pro Research survey found. Further down the list were use cases such as fraud detection and market analysis.

Dustin Bolander, CIO of Technology Pointe, said that his company has switched over multiple security vendors to predictive software in the past year. Gene Richardson, COO of Experts Exchange, said that his team is currently implementing machine learning tools.

"We are planning to take advantage of the benefits brought by machine learning, AI and advanced analytics, said Florentin Albu, CIO of Ofgem E-Serve. "We are at the stage of active exploration through proof of concepts, to educate the business in what is possible, and to gain a better understanding of potential challenges."

As you begin implementing AI and machine learning, it's also a good time to review your company's data monetization strategy and data architecture, Albu said, as they are critical factors for delivering benefits.

David Wilson, director of IT services at VectorCSP, said the company is not currently exploring AI or machine learning. "Not unless it becomes a solution for a particular client," he said.

Multiquip Inc. is also not yet implementing these technologies, according to vice president of IT Michael Hanken. "There are not enough practical use cases for us, but we are watching closely," Hanken said.

This month's CIO Jury included:

  • David Wilson, director of IT services, VectorCSP
  • Gene Richardson, COO, Experts Exchange
  • Muhammad Azfar Latif, head of IT, product management division, United Bank Limited
  • Mike S. Ferris, global IT director of infrastructure, Lincoln Electric
  • Florentin Albu, CIO, Ofgem E-Serve
  • Michael R. Belote, CTO, Mercer University
  • Michael Hanken, vice president of IT, Multiquip Inc.
  • Jeff Kopp, technology coordinator, Christ the King Catholic School
  • Dustin Bolander, CIO, Technology Pointe
  • John Rogers, IT director, Nor-Cal Products, Inc.
  • Cory Wilburn, CIO, Texas General Land Office
  • Shane Milam, executive director of technology infrastructure services, Mercer University

Want to be part of TechRepublic's CIO Jury and have your say on the top issues for IT decision makers? If you are a CIO, CTO, IT director, or equivalent at a large or small company, working in the private sector or in government, and you want to join TechRepublic's CIO Jury pool, click the Contact link below or email alison dot denisco at cbsinteractive dot com, and send your name, title, company, location, and email address.

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About Alison DeNisco

Alison DeNisco is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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