AI investment prioritised by 75% of firms, claims Accenture report
Nearly three-quarters of companies are prioritising AI over all other digital investments, with the aim of boosting operational resilience, according to a study by Accenture.
The Irish-American IT company surveyed 1,700 executives, 72% of whom were C-suite, across 12 countries and 15 industries.
The report, Reinventing Enterprise Operations, found that 90% of business leaders are using AI to tackle aspects of operational resilience, which spans data-driven capabilities, such as finance (89%) and suppliers (88%), to experimentation with generative AI.
The findings assessed organisations across six measures of operational maturity: AI, data, processes, talent, collaboration and stakeholder experiences. While only a few (9%) companies achieved maturity on all fronts, those that did averaged 1.4 times higher operating margins over peers, while driving 42% faster innovation, 34% better sustainability and 30% higher satisfaction scores.
“All CEOs are under pressure to digitise faster, put more resilience in the business, and find new pathways to growth,” said Yusuf Tayob, group chief executive of Accenture Operations. “The right investments in technology while advancing talent, data and processes is what drives a new performance frontier.”
Enterprises averaged nearly three-times (11%) higher productivity when prioritising training and specialised skills to address talent needs. This was further confirmed by investments being made in new ways of working (cited by 94%) and the 90% of (COO, CIO, CHRO) respondents who plan to increase specialised and technical talent over the next three years.
To fully capture the opportunity, Accenture recognised five actions that leaders had taken to evolve operations and achieve a new performance frontier:
– Humanise AI experiences: explore new use cases to enhance experience-related outcomes and simplify relationships with employees and customers.
– Data decisiveness: define a clear strategy that governs how data is created, collected and enriched, encouraging debate and removing biases to capture the most effective insights to guide decision-making.
– Innovate processes: visualise “as-is” processes, apply AI-driven insights to discover new efficiencies, while simulating scenario changes to optimise business process improvements.
– Agile workforce: create agility within workforce strategy; empower employees with a choice of technology tools to meet needs.
– Take a 360° approach: drive value creation holistically, building it from the ground up and across all functions by using data-driven insights, from customers, employees and other ecosystem partners.
Last week, UK government Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said the nation must ‘win the race’ for AI development to fuel economic growth, or face being left behind.
Google parent company Alphabet also upped its AI game by merging two units – its AI research branch Google Brain and AI firm DeepMind. The new group – now rebranded as Google DeepMind – has likely been created to compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
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