William Webster

written by

William Webster

Researcher, Avoncourt Partners GmbH

Culture Blog - Nov 11, 2018

Enterprises’ need for Chief Artificial Intelligence Officers

Businesses are well aware of the business value of AI. Nowadays it is a competitive necessity. They are heavily spending to integrate artificial intelligence into their processes. And according to a recent study, the barriers and opportunities are so significant that they need a C-level position dedicated to drive AI strategy, ensure adoption and measure ROI.

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Survey reveals need for AI leadership 

Such are the findings of a recent survey by market research firm Vanson Bourne, conducted on behalf of Teradata, a company that specializes in data and analytics.

80% of the 260 large organizations surveyed say they are investing in AI, but one in three business leaders report their company still must invest more over the next 36 months to keep up with competitors.

While recognizing the competitive need to deploy AI, enterprises are anticipating significant barriers to adoption and are looking to strategize against those issues by creating a new C-suite position, the Chief AI Officer (CAIO), to streamline and coordinate AI adoption.

“Enterprises today see AI as a strategic priority that will help them outpace the competition in their respective industries,” says Atif Kureishy, VP for Emerging Practices at Think Big Analytics, a Teradata company.

Kureishy added that to tap the potential of AI, businesses will have to do more than invest in AI. They need to revamp core strategies so AI has an “embedded role from the data center to the boardroom.”

Enterprises have no issue investing in AI

While respondents are realistic about the challenges, they also have no hesitancy to spend and expect the investment to pay off quickly.  Enterprise leaders predict a 99% ROI in the next five years for every dollar invested today and 187% in ROI over the next 10 years.

Respondents expect to see significant impact from AI in the following industries:

59% IT, technology and telecoms

43% Business and professional services

32% Customer services

32% Financial services

The three areas where businesses expect AI to drive revenue are product innovation/research and development (50%), customer service (46%) and supply chain and operations (42%). Not surprisingly, those also represent that top areas of actual AI investment listed by enterprises:

62% Customer experience

59% Product innovation

55% Operational excellence

AI(artificial intelligence). young scholar holding brain 3D graphics. 3D rendering.

Room to grow

Businesses are ready to spend on AI as both business and technology leaders anticipate cost- and time-savings, but they also cite as barriers a lack of IT infrastructure and shortage of talent. One area business leaders aren’t worried about is the fallout of AI and automation on the workforce. Only 20% see this as a barrier.

Why CIOs and CTOs won’t drive AI strategy

CIOs and CTOs have been leading AI adoption and strategy.  However, 62% of respondents say that AI is so critical to overall business processes that it calls for a C-level role dedicated to AI.  They expect to hire a chief AI officer (CAIO) to take the AI reins and coordinate and mandate implementation throughout the enterprise.

To conclude, the Bourne/Teradata survey reveals the crunch across sectors that businesses are beginning to feel about efficient implementation and integration of AI. Surprisingly the survey also indicates an immense optimism in AI’s future for businesses, warranting the creation of CAIO positions. 2018 continues to be a year of intense AI growth.