Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will dramatically change the face of business in the next two years

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are poised to help companies make dramatic shifts in performance, shareholder value and business development over the next two years. AI opens the door to analyse massive amounts of data and deliver critical insights that organisations across a wide variety of industries can use to improve processes, drive profitability, and increase their competitive advantage.

To better understand how this game-changing technology is being applied to drive business success today and where it is headed in the near future, Protiviti and ESI ThoughtLab interviewed more than 300 executives around the globe, reaching across functions, company size and industry, including healthcare, technology, financial services and consumer products. Results from this important research are included in this report, including how businesses are investing in AI, where the benefits of AI/ML are being seen now and will be seen in the immediate future, challenges and perceptions regarding AI talent, and obstacles that executive leadership will face.

The clear picture gleaned from the research is this: Companies who are leading the charge with advanced AI are finding that it is a real game changer, while companies who are still lagging behind will soon experience a competitive disadvantage.

“We are entering the cognitive age. Over the next 25 years, advanced AI will be the central element of digital transformation that fundamentally changes how businesses operate.”

Cory Gunderson, Executive Vice President, Global Solutions, Protiviti


Executive Summary

The executive summary provides a brief review of the survey findings, including the state of AI adoption and benefits realised. It also shares insights on obstacles companies will likely face as they begin to implement AI, including uncertainty about the return on investment, cybersecurity risks, and the AI talent gap. Finally, it discusses why culture and leadership matter on the road to AI adoption success.

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Join Protiviti's Global Head of Technology Ron Lefferts, Senior Managing Director Shaheen Dil, and Managing Director Madhumita Bhattacharrya for a live discussion of the survey findings and important insights.


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Full Report

Our full report contains extensive analysis of key insights gathered from survey participants across a number of dimensions, including expectations for gaining value, benefits now and anticipated, investment in AI, executive buy-in, industry and global adoption, and comparison of AI Leaders versus non-leaders. It finishes with calls to action based on lessons learned from advanced AI adopters.


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Critical Outlook

  • Today, 16 percent of companies are gaining significant value from advanced AI, but the landscape for the use of AI/ML will change dramatically over the next two years, rising to more than 50 percent.
    • A sizable majority of companies expect to see significant gains in profitability, productivity, revenue and shareholder value within the next two years.
    • Spending on advanced AI will grow by nearly ten percent.
    • Benefits derived from AI today are in data-driven areas such as operations, strategy and planning, IT and cybersecurity. But in two years, companies will apply advanced AI to practically every function, including risk management, marketing, customer experience and product development.
  • Businesses in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) are adopting advanced AI faster than companies in the rest of the world.
  • The Chinese government is currently implementing a national plan to make China the global leader in AI by 2030.
  • Major obstacles that companies will see on the road to achieving maximum gains from advanced AI include uncertainty about the return on investment (ROI) of AI, regulatory uncertainty (especially in healthcare), and securing required AI talent.
  • Executives need to understand what AI can do so they can spur the corporate culture to embrace AI.
  • Companies that are still on the fence about AI adoption will find themselves at a significant competitive disadvantage within the next two years.


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