According to a new Genpact study, a large majority of companies that are adopting artificial intelligence believe that their employees will be able to work with the tech effectively by 2020.
The research, conducted by Genpact and Fortune Knowledge Group in June 2017, asked 300 senior executives about how effective they are in adopting artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. Its findings are detailed in a report from Genpact, Is Your Business AI Ready?
Although the report takes an optimistic outlook, only a small fraction of businesses report that they are currently provide reskilling and training to staff in a bid to address technology disruption.
And there seems to be a growing disconnect between the expectations of how AI will impact the future of work and the measures companies are taking to prepare their workforces.
This study also identified large gaps in behaviour between AI leaders (companies realising the most impact from AI) and laggards (those reporting the lowest business outcomes from this technology).
The vast majority (82 percent) of respondents said they have plans to implement AI and robotic technologies over the next three years, but there will be widespread organisational change. And that’s why training is crucial.
While there are indicators that the average worker is becoming more aware of AI in the workplace, the study found that senior management (32 percent) is the group that resists AI the most.
The top barriers to AI adoption are information security concerns, lack of clarity about where to apply AI most effectively and silos within the organisation – mainly between IT departments and other functions.
Of course, overcoming these barriers requires much more than investing in the latest technology. Leaders also need to foster training and development, and encourage innovation within their teams.
Reaping the rewards
Interestingly, two thirds of leaders have already adopted standard processes and systems to support AI, compared to 20 percent of laggards. And leaders are more likely to have large amounts of customer data they can share across company departments.
Leaders are already reaping the rewards of this technology, with many of them finding that it can improve the customer experience (40 percent) and increase revenues (45 percent).
V ‘Tiger’ Tyagarajan, president and chief executive officer of Genpact, said: “CxOs often struggle with how to achieve strong business impact from AI. The survey findings underscore what we see with our clients daily – success won’t come simply from technology alone.”Companies must train their workforce – at all levels – and encourage the right corporate culture. Collaboration between humans and machines has the power to improve customer experiences, grow revenue, and create new jobs – but only if senior management has the vision to proactively prepare and embrace change.”
Sanjay Srivastava, chief digital officer of Genpact, added that process design and talent are keys to success with AI.
“One provides the catalyst for extracting the value from AI technologies; the other provides the amplifier to drive it at scale for the enterprise. Without one or the other, the chemistry of AI success just doesn’t work.”