Innovation and revenue growth to be the focus of AI use rather than lowering costs and optimization according to business leaders (but they’re not sure how)

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An image of an eye with a technology theme to it.

TCS reveals that 69% of companies see AI as a tool to spur innovation and increase revenue over being used to reduce costs and optimise processes and that eight out of ten senior business leaders have already used AI to enhance or create new revenue streams.

The study, one of the largest of its kind, asked 1300 senior leaders from 24 countries about how businesses are planning to become AI ready, including strategy, operations, and implementation plans. It revealed that although the focus is on innovation rather than optimization, the only real consensus is that businesses need better metrics to measure the success of AI use.

Talking about the study, Dr Harrick Vin, Chief Technology Officer, TCS, said, “2023 was a year of exuberance, with every enterprise experimenting with AI/GenAI use cases. We are now entering an era of wide-and-deep enterprise AI adoption. Enterprises, however, are realizing that the path to production for AI solutions is not easy, and that building an AI-mature enterprise is a marathon, not a sprint. Our AI study has confirmed this sentiment; it has also highlighted that enterprises feel underprepared to deploy AI solutions at scale as well as to manage the profound shifts in the roles of people and ways of working resulting from such deployments.”

According to the study, 77% of leaders don't want to wait and see how AI is implemented in their industry but only 23% want to experiment and take risks with AI. Plus,72% of executives are currently reworking their business strategy but only 28% want to establish an enterprise wide AI strategy. This, despite 45% of respondents believing half of their employees will need to use AI in their job within three year’s time.

While business leaders may be unsure how to implement AI, with only 20% of corporate leaders saying they are well-positioned to leverage AI to their strategic advantage, 59% of corporate functions already have AI implementations in-process or have completed AI projects.

There are more contradictions when it comes to regulation. Most senior executives believe that leaving ethical AI decisions up to them might not benefit the majority and that global standards are required; however, fewer think that both the government and industry should have an equal say in how to regulate AI.

Although the direction of AI use in business is unclear, the forecast is positive as executives are generally excited about the impact of AI, with 57% optimistic about AI believing it will enable people to focus on higher-value activities that need creativity and strategic thought.

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