Other challenges to AI adoption are a lack of compelling return on investment and a lack of management understanding, according to a new report from EY.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly seen as a technology that can help businesses better control data and other assets, improve daily processes, manage customers, and defend against cyberthreats. And though business leaders see AI as a road to success, they also acknowledge several bumps along that road, according to a report released Thursday by EY.
Based on an EY survey of 500 US CEOs and business leaders, the study entitled "AI important to a company's success, but lack of skilled personnel remains a barrier" found that 84% of the respondents said they feel AI is important to the future success of their company, with 55% seeing it as a way to cut costs and drive new revenues. Breaking that down further, some 62% said that AI will have a major impact on creating efficiencies at their company, 62% said it will help them remain competitive, and 60% said it will help them gain a better understanding of customers.
However, business leaders also see several obstacles in the adoption of AI. Among the respondents, 31% pointed to the lack of skilled personnel as the largest barrier they face in implementing AI. Among other challenges, some 27% cited a lack of compelling return on investment, 24% mentioned a lack of management understanding, 21% cited an unclear business case, 20% pointed to limited funding, and 19% mentioned the issue of having a siloed organization and data.
Yet business leaders are trying to overcome the barriers to AI adoption in a few ways. Among the respondents, 31% cited having a compelling business case for AI as the most important factor, while 29% pointed to a commitment to AI from senior management. Both factors highlight the importance of buy-in by top executives, according to EY, both in terms of informing the organization of the uses, value, and ROI of AI, as well as explaining the benefits of long-term implementation.
"CEOs and business leaders have a responsibility to not only motivate and inspire their organizations with a strategic vision for the future, but to establish a plan that implements AI and other emerging technologies across the workforce," Jeff Wong, EY Global Chief Innovation Officer, said in a press release. "Employees need to be able to trust the technologies and understand the benefits and efficiencies that AI provides personally and for the business."
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