- AI is already enabling early-adopter manufacturers to better orchestrate analytics, Business Intelligence (BI), mobility and real-time monitoring to enable faster revenue growth and grow faster than their peers.
- The top 18% of AI adopters today devote over 70% of their efforts to devising new strategies to drive revenue and new sales growth.
- 91% of all enterprises interviewed expect AI to deliver new business growth by 2023.
These and many other fascinating insights are from the recently published report Artificial Intelligence in Business Gets Real; Pioneering Companies Aim for AI at Scale by MIT Sloan Management Review. The study is based on a survey of 3,076 business executives, managers, and analysts from organizations around the world. The survey, conducted in Spring 2018, captured insights from individuals working in organizations of various sizes, spread across 29 industries and located in 126 countries, and supplemented by 36 executive interviews. For additional details on the methodology, please see page 3 of the study.
Key takeaways of the study include the following:
- Four groups of adopters emerged from the analysis based on their AI adoption and understanding, ranging from Pioneers, Investigators Experimenters and Passives with widely varying goals. The study found four distinct groups of organizations based on their level of AI adoption and maturity. 18% of those surveyed are Pioneers, or organizations that both understand and have adopted AI. 33% are Investigators or organizations that understand AI but are not deploying it beyond the pilot stage. Their investigation into what AI may offer emphasizes looking before leaping. 16% are Experimenters, who are organizations that are piloting or adopting AI without deep understanding. And 34% are Passives or organizations with no adoption or much understanding of AI. In the next five years, all expect AI to be a primary catalyst that redefines their business models.
- 91% of all enterprises interviewed expect AI to deliver new business growth by 2023. In the many previous studies of AI adoption maturity in enterprises, cost reduction is often the catalyst that nudges late adopters or passive organizations to finally take action. What’s noteworthy regarding this study is all four categories of adopters are expecting AI to contribute to their new business growth in five years, by 2023. AI-enabled product development and new products that integrate contextual intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors provide manufacturers with a rich real-time data stream that can be turned into subscription and services revenue, freeing them of being in a transaction-only business. That’s just one of a myriad of areas were AI designed into products will redefine manufacturing and services revenue streams.
- Early adopters are best at driving revenue from AI by enabling greater scale, speed and responsiveness of centralized data lakes. Chinese AI early adopters benefit from their government’s pro-AI support programs and direction and lead the world in optimizing centralized data lakes to support AI use cases. MIT and BCG found that 78% of Chinese early adopters or pioneers maintain corporate data in a centralized data lake compared with only 37% and 43% of European and U.S. early adopters respectively. 83% of Chinese AI-leading companies surveyed manage corporate data centrally, while only 39% of European Pioneers and 40% of U.S. Pioneers do so. Ironically, Chinese early adopters are focusing on using AI to cut costs and putting less emphasis on using the technology to generate new revenue streams.
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- Early adopters are finding success using AI to drive new revenue, making the business case for continued re-investment clear. 72% of early adopters or pioneers will prioritize use cases that prioritize revenue first compared to just 48% of passives. In the previous three years, 81% of early adopters prioritized revenue increases over cost reductions. The study cites OPTEL, a Canadian technology company who is on a mission to build a sustainable world through smarter supply chains. Using end-to-end traceability systems based on advanced AI, OPTEL connects the various segments of the supply chain and provides much-needed visibility over the path of products in a wide range of industries. There are also early adopters or pioneers in manufacturing using AI to optimize production scheduling, logistics, distribution, service, and have products provide real-time status updates on when maintenance is needed, wherever they are in the world at any given moment.
Louis Columbus is an enterprise software strategist with expertise in analytics, cloud computing, CPQ, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), e-commerce and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).