The growth of cognitive technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) will lead more than 75% of tech leaders to increase hiring in IT to manage deployments, according to a new report from KPMG. In addition to hiring in IT, 64% of tech leaders said they’d increase hiring in middle management, 62% in customer service, 60% in sales, 50+% in sales, and 43% in senior management, the report said.

“The tech CEOs’ commitment to hire across the board shows the strategic value they see in cognitive technologies, and they are building the organizational structure their company will require to execute their strategy,” Tim Zanni, global and US chair of KPMG’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice, said in a press release.

By the year 2021, spending on AI and cognitive technologies is expected to hit $46 billion, according to IDC data. These technologies are making waves in the form of mobile assistants and chat bots, but they are poised to further disrupt even more industries.

SEE: The Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Bundle (TechRepublic Academy)

According to 28% of respondents, AI will lead to better productivity and improved efficiency. Some 16% said it could lead to cost reductions, 14% said increased profitability, and 10% predicted faster innovation cycles. Better customer loyalty and faster time to market were also both predicted as outcomes of AI’s growth.

Despite their impact on hiring, cognitive technologies were only the third most impactful tech trend noted in the report, cited by 10% of respondents. The Internet of Things (IoT) took first place with 20%, and robotics came in second with 11%.

A quarter of respondents felt that IoT would lead to improved business efficiencies and higher productivity. IoT would also lead to faster innovation cycles, 19% of respondents said, and 13% said it could bring cost reductions too.

“As we evolve as a networked society, IoT will transform the way we interact with technology. From an enterprise perspective this evolution will require a new framework to manage the opportunities and risk,” Peter Mercieca, a management consulting leader at KPMG, said in the report.

Some 36% of respondents reported that robotics would lead to improved effectiveness, and the technology also ranked high in speeding innovation cycles. The report noted that robotics have been common in manufacturing for a long time, but are changing to become more collaborative.

These technologies are making a big splash in the enterprise, and their pace of disruption will likely quicken, the report said. Company leaders are recommended to revisit their strategies for new tech investments, including investment and M&A strategies, the report said.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Cognitive solutions will lead 76% of tech leaders to increase hiring in IT to help with AI deployments, according to a new report from KPMG.
  2. Cognitive and AI solutions are seen as less impactful than IoT and robotics, according to tech leaders.
  3. Tech leaders are recommended to revisit their strategies for investing in new tech to make sure they account for these trends.