According to the Gartner study, organisations across all industries use AI in a variety of applications, but struggle with acute talent shortages.
“Four years ago, AI implementation was rare, only 10% of survey respondents reported that their enterprises had deployed AI or would do so shortly. For 2019, that number has leapt to 37% – a 270% increase in four years,” said Chris Howard, distinguished research vice-president at Gartner.
“If you are a CIO and your organisation doesn’t use AI, chances are high that your competitors do and this should be a concern,” he cautioned.
The reasons for this big jump is that AI capabilities have matured significantly and so enterprises are more willing to implement the technology.
“We still remain far from general AI that can wholly take over complex tasks, but we have now entered the realm of AI-augmented work and decision science — what we call ‘augmented intelligence',” Howard said.
Gartner says that CIOs have realised that sustainable digital transformation and task automation go hand in hand.
“AI has become an integral part of every digital strategy and is already used in a variety of applications. Survey results show that 52% of telco organisations deploy chatbots and 38% of healthcare providers rely on computer-assisted diagnostics. Other operational use cases for AI are fraud protection and consumer fragmentation,” the company notes.
Howard says the more enterprises work with AI, the clearer the deployment challenge becomes.
Fifty-four percent of respondents to a Gartner Research Circle Survey view skill shortages as the biggest challenge facing their organisation.
“In order to stay ahead, CIOs need to be creative. If there is no AI talent available, another possibility is to invest in training programs for employees with backgrounds in statistics and data management. Some organisations also create job shares with ecosystem and business partners,” Howard said.
Graphic: courtesy Gartner