Over 60% of companies are only scratching the surface of AI

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In Spain, the Madrid metro uses AI to monitor its network and reduce its energy consumption by 25%. In the United States, a beverage company is using AI to drive sales by analyzing retailers and markets. In Europe, an energy company is training its engineers and managers in an AI-powered digital twin factory. In the Middle East, an AI-powered telecommunications company’s virtual assistant speaks to 1.65 million customers every month in different Arabic dialects and English.

There is no doubt that AI is in full adoption around the world, with all industries recognizing it as the next big technological breakthrough. However, a report from Accenture assures that 63% of companies using AI are only scratching the surface.

On June 8, 2022, Accenture presented the report The art of AI maturity. The report concludes that the majority of organizations using AI are still experimenting with the technology. Only 12% use it at maturity level.

AI Performers vs. AI Experimenters

Graph of AI achievers versus experimenters.
The art of maturity, Accenture.

According to Accenture, around 30% of AI Achievers’ total revenue is related to AI. AI Achievers also experienced 50% higher revenue growth on average during the 2019 pandemic era.

“In 2021, among executives of the world’s 2,000 largest companies (by market capitalization), those who discussed AI during their earnings calls were 40% more likely to see their company’s stock price increase, up from 23% in 2018,” says Accenture. .

In total, Accenture has identified four groups: “AI Achievers”, “AI Builders”, “AI Innovators” and “AI Experimenters”. Performers, Builders and Innovators combined represent only 37% of the organizations surveyed. “AI experimenters” nearly double those numbers.

AI Achievers turn AI pilots into production projects to solve real-world business problems. They also use their metrics and data to take action, for example by measuring and reducing greenhouse gas emissions or the consumption of natural resources. Leading AI companies build their data and their AI core instead of buying it. They also have an integral AI strategy and encourage innovation through their culture.

More than half of all companies surveyed using AI are not taking full advantage of the technology. “AI experimenters,” pegged at 63% by Accenture, lack the necessary mature AI strategies and lack the capabilities for AI operations.

Gartner Distinguished Analyst Whit Andrews told TechRepublic that while many organizations have developed at least one AI project, the challenge they now face is how to drive their digital future with AI.

Gartner agrees that AI has the potential to enable organizations to stay competitive and reinvent products and services. But IT leaders need to see through the hype surrounding AI and figure out how to apply the technology to solve real problems, says Gartner.

Accenture’s new report predicts AI-savvy companies will double by 12% to 27% over the next two years. To master AI, companies are looking beyond data and AI tools, like machine learning. They adopt an organizational AI strategy, invest in talent and infrastructure, and create an AI culture.

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Top and bottom ranked industries by use of AI

Chart from Accenture AI report.
The art of maturity, Accenture.

On a scale of 1 to 100, Accenture’s report says the average AI maturity score for all industries is just over 35 points. Technology industries are the most advanced with an AI maturity score of 54 expected to reach 60 by 2024. The gap between technology and all other sectors is large, but Accenture expects this gap is reduced considerably by 2024.

Industries that excel in the use of AI include:

  • Technology
  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Defense

Industries that fall below the average include:

  • banking and capital markets,
  • Health care
  • Public services
  • Energy

Accenture highlights AI-powered autonomous vehicles in the automotive sector, AI remote control and navigation systems developed by aerospace and defense companies, and drug development in the life sciences industry. life, like game-changing trends.

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The art of mastering AI

In-person team meeting.
Image: Christina Wocintechchat via Unsplash.

According to Accenture, AI priorities, investments, AI tools, responsible use of AI, and long- and short-term AI strategies are five main points that can help organizations master the AI. Companies that excel in AI are not just looking to master one point but to combine their strengths to excel in everything.

AI Achievers have made AI a priority across their organizations. Eighty-three percent of AI Achievers are fully sponsored by leaders. CEOs create a deliberate culture of innovation. Forty-eight percent of Performers integrate innovation into their organizational strategies, while only 33% of Experimenters do the same.

AI Achievers also invest in talent. Seventy-eight percent of Achievers include mandatory AI training for all of their employees, from product development to senior management. This creates a strong AI culture that enables AI collaboration across the enterprise.

The industrialization of AI tools and the teams building an AI core is also a priority for AI Achievers. Talent, technology and data environments come together in cloud processes to drive migration, scale and growth, innovation, progress and performance. “The AI ​​cores are, in turn, managed by dedicated interdisciplinary teams of machine learning engineers, data scientists, data domain experts, and systems engineers,” Accenture explains.

Whit Andrews, VP Analyst at Gartner, explains that AI investments should span a variety of practices. “Examples include formal programs to link software engineering and AI teams, a plan for hiring internal and external talent, and the top-down engagement that all new IT projects and major upgrades should incorporate. AI,” says Andrews.

“That means investing resources to do that in all aspects of their digital operation. They need to push experiments into production. For now, that means central systems. Eventually, these central systems will integrate across the enterprise,” adds Andrews.

Another differentiator is AI accountability. When an AI project adheres to laws, regulations, and ethics from the start, it can empower employees, businesses, and customers, while impacting society.

Long-term and short-term investments are also top priorities for AI Achievers. Leading in AI requires aggressive investments. AI leaders get more from AI, simply because they invest more than other groups. They also understand that AI is a journey that has no peak and that continuous investment, research and development is required.

“AI Achievers are on the rise. Across industries, they’ve moved from migrating to the cloud to innovating. They have capitalized on the scale and computing power of the cloud to exploit new data sources and widely available artificial intelligence technologies. But AI isn’t their secret to superior performance. It is their approach to AI that makes them different”, concludes the company behind the report “The Art of AI Maturity”.