2% of large companies already plan to invest more than USD 1 billion by 2020, says Tata Consultancy Services Global Trend Survey
2020 is being touted as the year when the impact of future technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, will be visible in enterprises around the world. And the year isn't too far away.
According to a Tata Consultancy Services Global Trend Survey, a large number of companies view artificial intelligence (AI) as 'essential to competitiveness', and consider it transformative for them.
Business lines versus IT
The survey indicates that 68% of companies already use AI for IT functions. However, over 70% of survey respondents believe that AI impact will be maximum in other business lines, such as Marketing, Customer Service, Finance, and HR.
AI will create new roles in organizations
The survey notes that by 2020, companies with the biggest revenue and cost improvements will have three times as many new AI-related roles in each function by 2020 because of AI, as compared to companies with the smallest AI-related revenue and cost improvements.
In the last two years, AI's potential has finally been recognized and it is already being used to automate certain processes to drive efficiency and productivity in organizations.
AI correlates to business impact
AI is already being used to automate certain processes and drive efficiencies, help employees be more productive and devote more time to more strategic business needs, and create new work and services that were not possible in the past. The investment in AI directly correlates to business impact. According to the survey, the companies that realized the greatest AI-related revenue improvements and cost reductions spend five times more on the technology than the companies with the lowest AI-related revenue and cost improvements.
However, the application of AI in cyber security will be the greatest.
AI and cybersecurity
According to the survey, almost seven out of 10 (68%) companies currently use AI to detect and prevent potential hacks and security threats to their systems. And moving forward, the other key factors include developing cognitive systems that continually learn, have the ability to make reliable and safe decisions based on masses of data, and gain the confidence of managers to trust what AI is advising them to do.
The investment of the APAC region was the lowest in 2015 with USD 55 million while North American and European companies were leading investers in AI with USD 80 million, and USD 73 million respectively.
According to the survey, as many as 7% of companies have already earmarked at least USD 250 million towards AI in 2016 and 2% already plan to invest more than USD 1 billion by 2020 – likely looking to gain a competitive advantage as early adopters.