India Inc. continues to push the frontiers of technology by embracing AI: NASSCOM – EY survey

Seventy percent of Indian enterprises that deployed Artificial Intelligence (AI) have achieved measurable results while sixty percent believe that AI will disrupt their business within the next 2-3 years finds a recent study released by NASSCOM in association with EY. Titled ‘Can enterprise intelligence be created artificially? A survey of Indian enterprises’, the report is an outcome of a joint survey, assessing the responses of 500+ CXOs on the maturity of AI adoption and the challenges faced by enterprises in their AI journey.

The survey also outlined that 74% of Indian enterprises have established either a formal strategy or obtained C-suite sponsorship to initiate or scale-up their AI programs while 78% believed re-skilling of the existing talent will aid in maximizing value from their AI programs. As business leaders continue to recognise the role AI can play in providing competitive advantage and generating long-term value, the top three areas cited by the survey respondents, where AI is believed to add maximum value were; operational efficiency, customer experience and revenue growth.

Sharing her thoughts on the report launch, Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM, said, “As industry witnesses a rapid advancement in new technologies, Artificial Intelligence increasingly becoming an imperative for businesses across industries. Implementing AI will not only catalyze the innovation to stay competitive but also generate long-term value for enterprises. The NASSCOM – EY survey is ready reckoner that AI adoption is a critical competitive lever. It enables business leaders to infuse technology at speed.”

Nitin Bhatt, Partner & Technology Sector Leader, EY India said “AI holds tremendous potential in helping companies innovate, enhance competitiveness and generate significant long-term value. AI adopters have already achieved remarkable success in transforming their business models, operational processes and stakeholder experiences. As business leaders continue to push the frontiers of technology and the future success of AI will be driven only by our inspiration and imagination.”

The survey reflected that enterprises across sectors are embracing artificial intelligence, albeit with varying levels of enthusiasm. Sectors such as BFSI and retail that are intensive in terms of recorded or digitized data were found to be leading in AI adoption with 36% and 25% respectively. However, other sectors like healthcare and agriculture also seem to be catching up, with many meaningful AI endeavors at different levels of implementation.

Vijay Bhaskaran, Partner – Technology Consulting, EY said “AI has immense capability to unlock exponential value for businesses and navigate the complexities of the ever-evolving digital economy. However, enterprises too need to equip themselves with the right AI platform that can help them rapidly adopt and scale AI solutions, resulting in faster, smarter and future ready businesses. It is our constant endeavour to help organizations transform by automating intelligently with our unique propositions in artificial intelligence (AI) consulting.”

While end-customer centric functions were most favoured by organizations in Retail and BFSI sectors, healthcare and agriculture cited operations to be the function with the highest potential for AI deployment.

While AI continues to demonstrate significant potential, the survey delves deeper into some of the significant challenges centered around technology, talent and trust pillars that have been restricting organizations from embracing it. Trust emerged as the cornerstone for enterprise-wide AI adoption with over 55% of business leaders stating that they trust AI to make strategic and operational decisions. However, explainability and bias were perceived as the core concerns that can result in an adverse business impact, among organizations where AI has been deployed. Similarly, data security, privacy, safety/security of people and equipment emerged as the top-of-mind concerns among organizations where AI has not been deployed.

Low digitization and legacy systems were among the major factors citied by 60% of the organizations that have not implemented AI. Whereas 55% believed that cultural impediments and low maturity of external ecosystem especially with respect to technology and service providers, restricted their ability to accelerate AI initiatives.

To summarize, the findings state that an overwhelming majority of CXOs acknowledge that benefits of AI are real and sustainable. As business leaders continue to push the frontiers of technology, organizations will be required to address challenges and build stakeholder trust to rapidly scale their AI programs in the immediate future.

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