Capgemini have just released the results of a study of nearly 1,000 organisations with revenues of more than $500 million that are implementing artificial intelligence (AI), either as a pilot or at scale.
The research both counters fears that AI will cause massive job losses in the short term, as 83% of firms surveyed say AI has generated new roles in their organisations, and highlights the growth opportunity presented by AI: three-quarters of firms have seen a 10% uplift in sales, directly tied to AI implementation.
The report, which surveyed executives from nine countries and across seven sectors, found that four out of five companies (83%) have created new jobs as a result of AI technology.
Specifically, organisations are producing jobs at a senior level, with two in three jobs being created at the grade of a manager or above. Furthermore, among organisations that have implemented AI at scale, more than 3 in 5 (63%) said that AI has not destroyed any jobs in their organisation.
Alongside the trend towards job creation at management level, the report provides further evidence that organizations see AI as a means of reducing the time employees spend on routine and administrative tasks to enable them to deliver more value.
The majority of respondent organisations (71%) have proactively initiated up-skilling/re-skilling of employees to take advantage of their AI investments. For those who have implemented AI at scale, the vast majority believe that AI will make complex jobs easier (89%) and that intelligent machines will coexist with humans within their businesses (88%).
“What we really want to do is to use humans to the best of their capabilities,” said Michael Natusch, Global Head of AI at Prudential. “AI is taking away the time humans previously spent on repetitive issues and allowing them to focus on where human intelligence can drive value – for both themselves and for customers.”
AI adopters focused on the customer experience
The study found that tech-savvy businesses are using AI to increase sales, boost operations, facilitate customer engagement and generate business insights; it is working, as three-quarters of firms are already seeing a 10% uplift in sales since starting to use the technology.
The customer experience is a big focus of AI adopters: 73% think AI can increase customer satisfaction scores and 65% believe it could reduce future customer churn.
However, the research indicates that many organisations have yet to align their AI investments with business opportunities. In the hands of the technologists, businesses are prioritising challenging AI projects and missing lower hanging fruit.
More than half (58%) are focused on “need to do” implementations, or those that are high complexity/high benefit projects like customer service issues, while only 46% are deploying “must do” AI implementations with low complexity/high benefit. If firms tackled both problems simultaneously, they could see higher business benefits. For instance, those implementing a large number of “must do” use cases are able to reduce churn by up to 26% on average.
Traditional sectors leading the charge
Established and highly-regulated sectors are leading on AI innovation: 49% of telcos, 41% of retailers and 36% of banking institutions have seen the highest implementation of AI at scale, however, automotive (26%) and manufacturing (20%) industries are those currently with the lowest levels of utilisation among companies implementing AI.
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There is also a stark contrast across regions, as well as sectors. Among AI implementers, more than half (58%) of Indian companies are already using AI at scale, with Australia (49%) closely behind.
European countries, including Spain (31%), the Netherlands (24%) and France (21%) are further down the list of those using AI technologies, indicating firms in these markets are not yet ready to adopt the technology.
Ron Tolido, chief technology officer for the Insights & Data Practice at Capgemini, said, “AI has the capacity to revolutionise every business in every market sector; its potential is broad and unlimited. However, we are seeing a large contrast between those who are rolling out applied AI solutions at scale and reaping tangible business benefits, versus those who are simply trialling the technology.”
“It’s also quite revealing that organisations are focusing more of their efforts on the more complex AI projects and missing out on simpler projects that could drive quicker returns. Organisations, especially those not yet implementing AI at scale, should focus on those low-complexity, high benefit projects to quickly and better leverage the power of AI.”
Getting started with AI
As organisations look to harness the power of AI, they will face a range of challenges, and will need to have a clear view of where AI can create the most enduring advantage for themselves and their customers. The report concludes by setting out key steps to get started in implementing AI, including:
- Manage the key technology and people challenges.
- Pinpoint where AI can create the most significant, long-term advantage.
- Combine top-down vision with bottom-up execution.
- Prepare the organisation.