The Future State of AI in the Enterprise

08/03/2017 by: Jenny Hernandez

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The adoption and integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into enterprise process management is becoming the norm according to the 2017 The State of AI in the Enterprise  survey. The respondents from over 100 North American IT leaders found that using AI in the enterprise is no longer something of the future, but is being fully utilized in today’s workplace. Over two-thirds of survey participants are actively using AI within their enterprise.

The good and the bad on AI

For nearly six decades, artificial intelligence (AI) has been steadily evolving. Its evolution has continually reflected the improvements in technologies such as ITSM machine learning, big data, and the intelligence of applications. However, AI has faced the numerous implementation barriers:

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Despite its strengths, the study found that AI implementation does not come without its share of entry barriers. Survey respondents acknowledged system integration, lack of knowledge, and leadership buy-in as the top three hindrances in bringing AI solutions to their enterprise.

However, AI’s ability to address diverse enterprise functions is an influencer in the adoption of these technologies, as respondents identified financial reporting, line of business SasS solutions and even IT management as areas using advanced AI.

Current State of AI in the modern enterprise

In today’s digital environment, artificial intelligence (AI) is already used in a wide range of enterprise scale applications. In fact, you probably encounter artificial intelligence in your everyday life. From mobile phones to state of the art smart cars, AI is slowly but surely coming to the mainstream of our lives.

While AI is still early in its maturity, many respondents are confident in the ability of AI technologies to handle many of today’s enterprise processes:

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IT remains the entry point for AI enterprise processes, according to nearly 50 percent of the survey respondents. This finding was supported by the numerous uses of AI within IT, with respondents identifying predictive analytics for large datasets (59 percent), automated detection of system abnormalities (49 percent) and intelligent search capabilities (35 percent) as the main AI benefits to IT processes. 

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While AI technologies often begin with IT, they are quickly moving throughout the enterprise. Outside of IT, the survey found that AI is also influential in customer service, marketing, sales, finance and human resources. Within these departments, respondents cited better decision making, better insights and even improved employee productivity as AI-driven improvements. These benefits are quite appealing in today’s marketplace, where efficiencies remain a top priority.

With fast paced advances in AI technology and its adoption, today’s AI tools are moving forward quickly.

The Future of AI: Where do we go from here?

In the past, technological advancements have been slow to see adoption in the enterprise making IT staff and end users frustrated, demanding of a better experience. Now, AI tools are starting to see wider deployment for a variety of use cases.

However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) also brings with it some concerns about the future. What will this advancement bring? How will it change my workflows? What does it mean for my job? Despite concerns, early adopters have seen benefits attributed to the success of their AI implementations.

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When looking at enterprise AI as whole, respondents seemed confident that this is only the beginning for AI integration, with 98 percent of respondents believing that AI is here to stay. Even more important is the perception of AI versus the human workforce, as 66 percent of respondents felt that AI will not replace the human workforce, but will instead make the human workforce more efficient in the years ahead.

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