Artificial Intelligence is the biggest talking point right now. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly spoken about AI being the answer to limiting most issues on his platform. Google CEO Sundar Pichai, on the other hand, has argued that AI will have a bigger impact than fire. He believes AI will change how we live our lives and will transform healthcare, education and manufacturing. Back in July, Pichai said that AI is still in its early stages and added, “I view it as the most profound technology that humanity will ever develop and work on”.
A few years back, almost every company tried to brand itself as a tech company. Uber and WeWork don’t call themselves transportation or real estate companies but tech companies. Going forward, don’t be surprised if these companies call themselves AI companies. While AI is the talk of the town, only a few organizations are completely AI-fueled today, Deloitte found in the 4th edition of State of AI in the enterprise.
What is an AI-fueled organisation?
Deloitte describes an AI-fueled organisation as one that leverages data as an asset and scales human-centred AI across all core business practices. In other words, these are companies that are using AI in everything from manufacturing, hiring to software services offered by them. The research-based on a survey of 2,875 executives from 11 top economies with purview into AI strategies and investments shows that AI-fueled organisations use “rapid, data-driven decision-making to enhance workforce and customer experiences.”
The survey found that these AI-fueled organisations can be classified into four categories:
- Transformers: The survey found 794 executives recognise their organisations as transforming or fully transformed. These organisations average 5.9 out of 10 possible full-scale deployments of different types of AI applications. These organisations also achieved 6.8 out of 17 possible outcomes to a high degree.
- Pathseekers: These are organisations or executives who say that they have adopted capabilities and behaviours that are leading to success. However, they are using AI on fewer initiatives. They average only 1.9 out of 10 possible full-scale deployments of different AI applications and 6.2 out of 17 possible outcomes achieved to a high degree.
- Starters: These are organisations that have low outcome and low deployment of AI applications. With an average of 1.6 out of 10 possible full-scale deployments of different AI applications, they are least likely to demonstrate leading practice behaviours.
- Underachievers: These are organisations with high deployed but low outcome or enough leading practices. They average 5.6 out of 10 possible full-scale deployments of different AI applications but the number drops to 1.4 out of 17 possible outcomes achieved to a high degree.
What are the leading practices to become an AI-fueled organisation?
It is abundantly clear from the survey that even transformers need to do better with their outcome for AI deployment while underachievers need to really get their act together for strong outcomes from AI deployment. The 4th edition of State of AI in the enterprise found these leading practices as the four cornerstones of AI-fueled organisations:
- Strategy: An AI strategy starts with your business strategy and not AI use cases and most participants say that organisations need an enterprise-wide AI strategy to succeed. Deloitte’s survey found that organisations that link their AI strategy to the company’s strategic north star will succeed faster and navigate their AI investments better. It also suggests AI can reimagine the way organisations do business while companies keep iterating their strategy with evolution of the market.
- Operations: The survey found that organisations need to rethink their operations from both a business and IT perspective. It argues that business requirements should come first even if data scientists lead the application of a data-driven technology. The survey participants also explain that reimagining workflows and roles can bring almost 1.5 times more likely outcomes to a high degree. Lastly, organisations need to look beyond DevOps and put MLOps in place.
- Culture and change management: The survey also shows that strong AI outcomes require trust, data-fluency and agility. It says while bold AI visions might bring both healthy and unhealthy fears, trust will keep the workforce moving forward while data-literacy and skill building exercises can lead to creative insights. With agility, AI-fueled organisations can not only pivot quickly after failure but turn insights into experiments.
- Ecosystems: The Deloitte survey also found that 83 percent of high-achieving organisations use two or more types of ecosystem partners. They build dynamic ecosystems by choosing partners with diverse perspectives and keeping things complicated, which makes it difficult to part ways with vendors if needed in the future.
AI-fueled future: the path ahead
The survey found that organizations are rapidly approaching the day when AI will “independently and reliably illuminate creative and strategic opportunity.” This will release people from the confines of our limited perspectives. Lastly, if organizations dedicate their imagination and energy to lay the foundation for an AI-fueled future right now then they could reap manyfold rewards.