Lack of skills limits the use of artificial intelligence

The implementation of artificial intelligence has grown significantly over the last 12 months, which has given companies significant benefits. However, there is still a lack of skills around AI. In addition, corporate AI management policies are not yet sufficiently developed. However, a good approach to both issues is needed to responsibly deal with the growing use of artificial intelligence for privacy, compliance with laws and regulations, cybercrime and AI terrorism. It tells the network provider Juniper Networks, based on a worldwide study of the business use of artificial intelligence.

Juniper, in collaboration with Wakefield Research, conducted the study of 700 executives (including 200 in Europe) who were directly involved in the planning or implementation of AI and machine learning (ML) applications. The study measures emotions in terms of the business value of AI applications, the maturity of implementations, and the challenges that remain.

AI implemented throughout the company

One conclusion from the study is that the majority of companies have moved beyond the proof of concept phase and are now implementing AI on a company-wide scale. This is due to the digital transformation accelerated by the corona crisis and the improvement of AI solutions available in the market.

While 6 percent of all C-Level executives in 2021 implemented AI-enabling solutions in their organization (due to technology, skills, and governance issues), 63 percent of all business decision-makers this year said they achieved their AI implementation goals. AI had at least ‘pretty much’ realized.

European decision makers in the field of AI and ML confirm that overview and control on a company-wide scale are crucial for the successful implementation of this technology. In addition, 45 percent believe that more needs to be done to ensure effective governance as AI is implemented into more business applications and aspects of our daily lives. 35 percent saw the availability of data as a prerequisite for an effective implementation of AI within their sector. North American respondents saw the functionality of AI solutions as the most important success factor.

Politics and governance not ‘mature’

9% of global IT executives (10% in Europe) believe that AI policies and governance in their organization (such as the appointment of an enterprise-wide AI manager or the adoption of responsible AI standards and processes) “are fully mature” “. 95 percent agree that this level is necessary to meet future legislation, up from 87 percent in 2021.

While business leaders recognize the importance of AI management and adopt management, maintenance and management policies, almost half of all respondents (48%) believe that more needs to be done to ensure effective management in AI.

“In recent years, many European governments have taken steps to regulate its collection, use and storage,” said Laurence Pitt, global security strategist at Juniper Networks. “This prompted organizations to take a more proactive approach to internal governance in the field of AI. It was necessary to meet the requirements of the legislation and ensure that they could safely expand their AI applications.”

Companies defined comprehensive AI and data management policies to hedge against financial losses and reputational damage, Pitt said. “As the use of artificial intelligence grows, more will be done in business to ensure effective management and security of this technology.”

Main impact

Other research results include:

  • The availability of modern AI tools and infrastructures has the greatest impact on the roll-out of AI by European organizations (62%). Of all companies that took artificial intelligence into their networks, over 70% said it had a positive impact on end-user experience (75%) and networking and IT teams (74%).
  • To increase the proliferation of artificial intelligence in their workforce, European organizations have stepped up their efforts to develop a pipeline of artificial intelligence by offering internships and collaborations with universities (33%). In addition, more than half of all European respondents (51%) plan to expand their existing framework for staff training and development with AI skills (use, management and development) over the next 12 months. This percentage is much higher than in North America (31%).
  • Hiring people with AI knowledge and skills is an important point of attention when investing in optimal use of AI. European IT managers see the following three aspects as their primary areas of investment: hiring the right people for the development and management of AI applications (21%), training end-users to ensure effective interaction with AI tools (22%) and further training of AI models (22%).
  • Despite the growing reliance on artificial intelligence, IT executives do not believe that artificial intelligence will replace humans. Instead, this technology will save employees time so they can focus on tasks of a strategic nature. More than half of all European IT managers (55%) say that AI will allow their employees to be more innovative, boost their career development (54%) and allow them to focus on the customer experience (52%) .
  • Almost all global decision makers (95%) agree that cybersecurity is essential to ensure the efficient operation and protection of enterprise AI solutions. The importance of cybersecurity for the successful implementation of artificial intelligence has increased significantly. 29% saw this as the most important success factor. In 2021, this was still the case for only 14% of all respondents.
  • Almost all European IT managers (91%) say that AI will help them reduce risk and improve the quality of IT infrastructure (21%), sales and marketing activities over the next 12 months (19%) and their organizational network / cloud (18%). These business aspects, they believe, offer the greatest potential to benefit from the rollout of artificial intelligence.

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