Lenovo Study: 95% of Indian CIOs Deem AI Critical for Business in 2024

69% of CIOs across the Asia Pacific prefer AI workloads in non-public cloud environments 

Lenovo unveiled the ‘CIO Playbook 2024—It’s all about  Smarter AI report, which provides a comprehensive overview of AI adoption in Asia-Pacific (AP). The IDC report, commissioned by Lenovo and surveyed over 900 CIOs, including 150+ in India, reveals that organizations in AP are planning to increase AI spending by 45% in 2024 compared to 2023. 

It also noted the massive shift in CIO priorities from last year, with AI topping the list. Notably, across AP, revenue and profit growth have shifted from the top priority in 2023 to number #3 in 2024, while customer experience and satisfaction have surged two spots to become the top 2 priorities. This underscores a strategic shift towards cutting-edge innovations and a customer-centric approach in the evolving business landscape. 

However, divergence emerges between business leaders and CIOs on AI technologies. Business leaders want to prioritize GenAI to enhance customer experience and drive outcomes, while CIOs express cautious optimism. Ranking GenAI as the 4th tech priority, CIOs prioritize AI technologies that address security, infrastructure,  and talent considerations. 

Amit Luthra, MD – India, Lenovo ISG, revealed, “The AI Playbook echoes what we have been hearing from the customers. CIOs in India are most confident about AI, with 95% expressing certainty that it will create a competitive advantage, and 57% of them consider it to be a game changer for their organizations. Higher investments in GenAI  and machine learning, followed by deep learning systems, underscore their desire to elevate operational efficiency,  security, decision-making processes, and customer experiences.” 

GenAI: Key Trends for Indian CIOs in 2024 

CIOs across India (28%) and Korea (33%) lead in GenAI investments in AP, followed by ASEAN+ (11%), ANZ  (2%), and Japan (2%). In India, AI has significantly influenced top technologies including Cybersecurity and Threat  Detection, Intelligent Automation and Robotics, and Automation for enhanced efficiency. Among the Indian CIOs  surveyed, the following was observed: 

GenAI Investment (Invested + Planning)Top 2 Areas of Interest Recruitment difficulty for AI  positions (Extreme + moderate)Top 2 Prep Tools for GenAI
(28% + 65%) 93%1. Business Intelligence 2. Conversational AI45% 1. Employee Skill development 2. End-end network security

● Adoption challenges– High dependence on third-party support (55%) & security (51%) are the top 2 concerns for  Indian CIOs. 

● AI Deployment challenges – Concerns over job security (62%) and lack of adequate IT support in automation deployment (64%) are key pain points for CIOs in India. 

Bring AI to the Data – 69% of AP CIOs prefer AI workload in a non-public cloud environment; 84% of CIOs in India are already using AI to enhance their security framework. 

Furthermore, the survey reveals that AP companies will adopt a balanced approach to AI workload deployment.  On average, 31% of AI workloads will be deployed on the public cloud, 28% on the private cloud, and 28% on hybrid cloud solutions. 

Scott Tease, VP – HPC & AI, Lenovo, added, “Additionally, the allocation of 13% of AI  workloads at traditional data centers signifies a growing recognition of the importance  

of edge computing, bringing AI capabilities closer to the source of data generation.” 

At the same time, 84% of CIOs in India are already using AI to enhance their security framework, and 14% plan to invest. 

Sumir Bhatia, President, AP, Lenovo ISG, noted “We are bringing AI everywhere 

through our pocket-to-cloud solutions, and an ecosystem of 50+ ISVs and 165+ AI  solutions. With domain experts and smarter technologies, we’re powering AI for All and  transforming the customer experience.” 

Key AP Trends among CIOs Across BFSI, Telco, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Government and Retail in 2024 

VerticalImpact of AI (Gamechanger  + Hygiene  Factor)GenAI  Investment (Invested +  planning)Top 2 CIO ChallengesEdge  Investment  by 2024Top 2 Edge Use Cases
BFSI 93% 93%1. Cybersecurity & privacy 2. Data Management &  Analytics↗️28%1. Retail & CX 2. Remote monitoring &  Telehealth
Manufacturing 92% 87% 1. Digital transformation 2. Cybersecurity & privacy ↗️40%1. Industrial Automation &  Manufacturing 2. IoT Device Management
Retail 92% 94% 1. Cybersecurity & privacy 2. Digital transformation ↗️31%1. Retail & CX 2. Real-time Analytics and  Insights
Telco 89% 89% 1. Cybersecurity & privacy 2. Digital transformation ↗️19%1. Real-time Analytics and  Insights 2. Retail & CX
Healthcare 88% 70%1. Digital transformation 2. Data Management &  Analytics↗️33%1. Real-time Analytics and  Insights 2. Retail & CX
Govt 83% 89%1. Talent Acquisition &  retention 2. Customer Experience↗️14%1. Real-time Analytics and  Insights 2. Video Surveillance and  Security

India Insight 

● In India, primary use cases for emerging technologies such as GenAI include risk and fraud detection in BFSI. ● The Indian manufacturing sector leverages AI-enabled predictive maintenance systems, aiding enterprises in autonomous real-time monitoring of equipment and anomalies.  

● High-performance compute platforms (55%) and automation of digital infrastructure (39%) are expected to be areas with the highest spending in 2024.

Edge Implementations will Supercharge AI; a 30% increase in Edge  

investments by CIOs in India 

● A 30% YoY jump in India and a 25% YoY increase in spending on Edge  

technology across AP 

● With Edge devices set to generate large volumes of real-time data, new use  

cases for AI models will emerge. Accordingly, Indian CIOs feel Real-time  

analytics (70%) and Video surveillance & Security (53%) use cases will  

experience the most significant impact from AI. 

Data, Security, and Skills are the Key Challenges for AI in 2024 

CIOs report that the top technology challenge for AI is GenAI’s reliance on extensive datasets, a resource most organizations need more of. Regarding business challenges, Job security and the lack of requisite AI skills top concerns for IT  employees in mature markets. Notably, India exhibited the highest job security within the region. 

Most available operational AI jobs, notably in DataOps  

(75%), SecOps and DevOps (75%) remain accessible  

and relevant, representing key entry points as  

organizations continue their AI journey. Yet 45% of AP 

and Indian enterprises struggle to hire for AI-related  

positions, more than doubling the usual hiring effort.  

This talent gap compels organizations to pivot towards  

internal solutions, emphasizing the imperative of upskilling existing employees. 

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