How businesses can get past AI hesitancy

By Ian Ray, Head of Data, AI and ML, Daemon.

  • 2 months ago Posted in

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly reshaping industries and business landscapes worldwide, and the numbers speak for themselves. By 2024, global spending on AI systems is projected to reach a staggering $154 billion, with the UK alone investing over £6.6 billion in AI technologies this year. However, despite the immense potential of AI, our recent whitepaper ‘Is AI a craze or crucial – what are businesses really doing about AI’ revealed that many organisations are still hesitant to fully embrace this transformative technology.

The reasons behind this hesitancy are multifaceted. Concerns surrounding data privacy, a lack of ethical guardrails, security risks, and the challenge of how to leverage the power of AI to meet a business need can often hinder adoption. This disconnect between interest and strategic planning is a critical barrier that businesses must overcome to unlock the full suite of benefits delivered by AI. Without a refined strategy and actionable plan, investments in AI technologies may fall short or not fulfil their full potential, leaving organisations trailing behind their more agile competitors.

Before making an investment in AI, businesses need to be aware of the expected ROI for any new technology. This might involve going back to basics and planning with the capabilities of the technology and business strategy in mind, or it might involve the collection of experience and data through research and small scale proof of concepts.

Investing in AI makes sense for organisations that want to stay ahead of their customers. However, if businesses don’t have a plan to use it, they might be left with a big investment and no concrete way of moving forward.

Bridging the gap: a multi-pronged approach

One effective strategy is to highlight the tangible business benefits and use cases within the organisation. By demonstrating how AI can streamline processes, enhance decision-making, and drive operational efficiencies, stakeholders are more likely to embrace this technology. Additionally, raising awareness of how the technology can support existing roles would alleviate employees' apprehensions and equip them with the necessary skills to utilise AI effectively.

A recent report found that 24% of decision-makers believe their employees lack the required skill level to utilise AI effectively. By implementing proper understanding and education, businesses can demystify AI, build trust, and facilitate its seamless integration into workflows.

Furthermore, businesses can mitigate risk and validate AI's potential by conducting small-scale proofs of concept (PoCs) or targeted trials within a controlled environment. These trials enable testing, verifying assumptions, and building capacity without substantial upfront costs, with the need for lengthy time commitments before results can be seen.

Addressing ethical and regulatory concerns

Navigating ethical and regulatory concerns is crucial when it comes to embracing AI. Establishing strong governance frameworks, helping shape industry standards, and collaborating with trustworthy AI vendors are key steps in mitigating risks and staying compliant with regulations.

Our research found that 49% of decision makers have concerns about data security privacy, emerging as the top driver of low AI confidence among organisations. By

proactively tackling this issue, businesses can lay a foundation of trust and confidence among stakeholders, paving the way for a seamless and successful AI integration.

To further solidify an AI adoption strategy, consider exploring case studies of organisations that have successfully implemented AI ethically and effectively. Learning from their experiences and best practices can provide valuable insights to inform the approach and enhance the overall outcome of AI initiatives.

Remember, embracing AI responsibly not only benefits your organisation but also contributes to building a sustainable and trustworthy business environment for all stakeholders involved.

The path forward

Though the hesitancy surrounding AI adoption is understandable, organisations can overcome these barriers by adopting a strategic and well-planned approach. By doing so, they can harness the transformative power of AI to drive innovation, enhance competitiveness, and unlock new realms of growth and efficiency.

According to a report by Forrester Research, companies that become AI-driven enterprises can expect revenue gains of over 10%. This substantial revenue growth underscores the urgency for businesses to prioritise overcoming barriers and accelerating their AI adoption journeys. Those able to successfully scale AI implementations stand to gain a formidable competitive advantage and unlock transformative value creation opportunities.

In a rapidly evolving business landscape, it's crucial for organisations to proactively address concerns surrounding AI adoption and develop a comprehensive strategy. By doing so, they will be better positioned to capitalise on the immense opportunities presented by this disruptive technology and achieve success on their own terms.

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