- Artificial intelligence is part of the technology stack at 45% of companies with 1,000 or more employees, according to a survey of 4,500 global IT leaders commissioned by IBM. At small and medium-sized businesses, the rate of adoption is 29%.
- Access to AI know-how represents the top hurdle for adoption, according to 37% of respondents. Two additional roadblocks deal with data complexities and silos (31%) and a lack of tools for developing AI models (26%).
- Four in 10 respondents said proof-of-concepts for AI-based or AI-assisted projects are in the works. Another 40% use pre-built AI applications.
CIOs kicked off 2019 with AI as an item to watch in the competition agenda. In 2020, adoption of this technology is more likely to predict market dominance.
The levels of adoption cited in the IBM study add confirmation to the trend of increased AI usage. Gartner's CIO survey, published in January 2019, found 37% of enterprise leaders had adopted AI or planned to do so shortly.
"If you are a CIO and your organization doesn't use AI, chances are high that your competitors do and this should be a concern," said Chris Howard, distinguished research vice president at Gartner, in the press release accompanying the survey.
Amid a landscape marked by augmented workers and redefined business models, companies that fail to overcome the knowledge, data and tool barriers to AI adoption are at risk of ceding ground to the competition.
It's a trend IBM hopes to capitalize on, with tools like IBM Watson promising to address real-world problems.
"While there is still work to be done, advances in data discovery and management, skills training and AI explainability are driving the rate of AI adoption faster than many predicted," said Rob Thomas, general manager at IBM Data and AI, in a blog post accompanying the survey results.