Only 12% companies using AI are at ‘AI maturity’ level: Study

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Organizations across verticals are depending and investing in artificial intelligence (AI), to enhance customer service, for business and sales forecasting, for better surveillance, to increase overall productivity and a lot more.

However, according to a study by Accenture, in 2021, among executives of the world’s 2,000 largest companies (by market capitalization), those who discussed AI on their earnings calls were 40% more likely to see their firms‘ share prices increase – up from 23% in 2018, still, only 12% are using it at an AI maturity level that achieves a strong competitive advantage.

The study points out that most of the organizations that use AI are still experimenting with the technology. “when it comes to making the most of AI’s full potential and their own investments, most organizations are barely scratching the surface,“ it said.

The study notes that AI maturity is the degree to which organizations outperform their peers in a combination of AI-related foundational and differentiating capabilities. These capabilities include the technology – data, AI, cloud – as well as organizational strategy, Responsible AI, C-suite sponsorship, talent and culture.

“AI adoption rapidly matured during the pandemic, yet to create more value with AI and use it to reinvent the enterprise, companies require a clear leadership vision combined with effective change management and human capital reinvention,” said Piyush N. Singh, India Business Lead at Accenture.

Prithvijit Roy, managing director – Applied Intelligence, Accenture in India said that to successfully scale the use of AI, they (organizations) need to industrialize AI tools and teams and also nurture a culture of responsible AI design. But most importantly, they must invest in talent.

The research dubs the 12% of organizations that already use AI to outpace their competitors as ‘AI Achievers’, with a score of 64 on the maturity scale, almost doubling that of others and correlating with 50% higher revenue growth than their peers.

The analysis further shows that most companies (63%) are ‘AI Experimenters’, barely scratching the surface of AI’s potential with an AI maturity score of 29. AI Innovators (13%), scoring 50, and AI Builders (12%), at 44, are somewhat advanced in their level of AI maturity, but are still leaving the full value of AI untapped.

The study informs that while industries like tech are currently much advanced in their respective AI maturity, the gap will likely narrow considerably by 2024. Automotive is betting on a big surge in sales of AI-powered self-driving vehicles.

It further shows that aerospace and defense firms anticipate continued demand for AI-enabled remote systems. And the life sciences industry will expand its use of AI in efficient drug development. Still, there is enormous room for growth in AI adoption across all industries and an enormous opportunity for those companies that choose to seize it.

For industry which are lagging behind like financial services and healthcare, a slew of factors may be contributing to their relatively low AI maturity including legal and regulatory challenges, inadequate AI infrastructure and a shortage of AI-trained workers.

AI Achievers are deploying AI solutions to “solve problems, spot opportunities and outperform their peers. They have taken their AI agenda beyond cost savings to drive growth and innovation.”

When compared with all other groups, AI Achievers are also more likely to; demonstrate high performance across a combination of capabilities; consistently turn pilots into production; focus beyond financial metrics, the study noted.

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