A new reports suggests that, despite its promise for the future, artificial intelligence (AI) is still not paying off for most companies.
A study by BCG GAMMA, the BCG Henderson Institute and the MIT Sloan Management Review found that a mere 11% of companies reported significant financial benefit from deploying AI.
Surprisingly, this low return rate was despite widespread attempts to use AI. In fact, the study found that 71% of respondents understood how AI would impact their business, 59% had an AI strategy and 57% had already deployed it to some degree or another.
One of the key differentiators appeared to be the degree to which an organization adopted and used AI. Companies that merely saw it as a quick fix, such as a way to improve automation, were the companies seeing very little return.
“Our survey analysis demonstrates that Leaders share one outstanding feature: They intend to become more adept learners with AI,” reads the report. “Organizations that sense and respond quickly and appropriately to changing conditions, such as a new competitor or a worldwide pandemic, are more likely to take advantage of those disruptions. They view AI as more than a tool for cost cutting and automation.”
As a result of this approach, those companies the report labels “Leaders,” fully integrate AI with their entire approach, learning from it while it learns from humans. This degree of change is often time-consuming and requires a fundamental shift in how many companies operate.
“As more and more of the core of a company is built around software and data, the nature of the organization changes,” says Marco Iansiti, the David Sarnoff Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He goes on to caution: “It’s an architectural transition that takes a lot of time for a traditional organization. It’s a massive change.”
The full report is a fascinating read and should be a top priority for any executive involved in AI deployment.