Data Driven Futures

Many businesses ‘struggling with AI infrastructure’

Written by Peter Walker
13/09/19

Most businesses are well underway with artificial intelligence (AI) experimentation, but many still lack an understanding of the use cases to deliver business value and the data infrastructures for making it a success across the enterprise on a sustainable basis.

This is according to a survey from digital transformation company Mindtree, which gathered data from 650 global IT leaders from key business markets, finding 85 per cent of organisations have a data strategy and 77 per cent have implemented some AI-related technologies in the workplace – with 31 per cent already seeing major business value from their AI efforts.

The survey showed that more than half (51 per cent) of large enterprises do not fully understand the data infrastructure needed to implement AI at scale, while six out of 10 organisations believe their data infrastructure and architectures are immature and not well positioned to deliver business value.

The research also revealed that 16 per cent of enterprises globally focus on a pain point and then define a use case, with smaller organisations (13 per cent) being less likely to focus on the business impact compared to their larger counterparts (18 per cent).

There are certain business functions, such as sales (35 per cent) and marketing (32 per cent) that are gaining the most value from AI, as it accelerates the delivery of improved customer experiences.

The most popular technologies deployed by global organisations are machine learning (34 per cent), chatbots (34 per cent) and robotics (28 per cent).

Just over a quarter (29 per cent) of the enterprises surveyed said they are agile enough to rapidly experiment with AI, with large organisations (39 per cent) having an edge compared to their smaller counterparts (19 per cent).

Mindtree found that ‘progressive’ enterprises are spending around a quarter of their IT budget on digital innovations with a focus on use case definition, experimentation and operationalisation for scale. A further 44 per cent said they will hire the best talent available externally, 30 per cent have partnerships with academia and 22 per cent run hackathons to solve data challenges and identify potential candidates.

“The potential of AI to disrupt, transform and rebuild businesses is clearly felt in the c-suite, even if it is not yet fully understood,” said Suman Nambiar, head of strategy, partners and offering for digital at Mindtree. “Business and technology leaders are increasingly expected to prove business value, unlock the power of their data, and define their AI strategy and roadmap.”

The online survey was conducted by Censuswide and the data was gathered from 650 global IT leaders, with an equal breakdown of 325 respondents from the UK and US across sectors including manufacturing, financial services, retail, travel and packaged goods.