Published on November 9, 2023, 7:00 am

A recent survey conducted by Gartner, a leading research and advisory company, revealed that 80% of executives believe that automation can be applied to any business decision. This finding highlights the growing recognition of the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in transforming various aspects of organizations.

The survey indicated a shift in enterprises’ approach towards AI, as they move away from a purely tactical use of the technology and start leveraging it strategically across multiple business units. By applying AI in this manner, organizations gain a competitive advantage by enhancing decision-making capabilities across their operations.

However, the survey also highlighted a challenge faced by many organizations when it comes to AI implementation: transitioning AI projects from pilot to production. On average, only 54% of AI projects make it through this transition. While this number has slightly increased compared to previous surveys, it still indicates room for improvement in effectively scaling AI initiatives within organizations.

Frances Karamouzis, a distinguished VP analyst at Gartner, explained that one significant obstacle organizations face is linking the AI models they build to tangible business value propositions. This makes it challenging for IT and business leaders to justify the investments required to operationalize these models successfully.

Governance complexity is another issue that arises when organizations have numerous deployed AI models. Demonstrating return on investment becomes more difficult for data and analytics leaders in such cases.

Contrary to popular belief, talent shortages are not a significant barrier to AI adoption according to the survey results. Around 72% of executives reported having or being able to source the necessary AI talent needed for their initiatives. Successful organizations utilize a combination of in-house development and external hiring strategies to ensure continuous learning and exposure to new ideas and techniques.

Interestingly, security and privacy concerns were not ranked as top obstacles for AI adoption among executives. Only 3% identified them as major barriers even though 41% of organizations admitted experiencing previous incidents related to AI privacy breaches or security threats.

When asked about their specific concerns regarding AI security, respondents cited worries about competitors, partners, and other third parties (50%), as well as concerns about malicious hackers (49%). Surprisingly, among organizations that faced AI security or privacy incidents, 60% reported data compromise by an internal party.

Erick Brethenoux, a distinguished VP analyst at Gartner, emphasized the need for organizations to acknowledge that most AI breaches are caused by insiders. While detecting and preventing external attacks is crucial, equal attention should be given to minimizing human risk within the organization.

In conclusion, the Gartner survey provides valuable insights into the evolving use of AI in organizations. It highlights the growing recognition of automation capabilities and strategic applications of AI across various business units. However, challenges remain in scaling AI projects from pilot to production and linking them to tangible business value propositions. Furthermore, governance complexity and addressing internal risks play crucial roles in successful AI implementations. By addressing these challenges effectively, organizations can leverage the full potential of generative AI and drive transformative outcomes for their businesses.

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