A Gartner poll of roughly 200 business and IT professionals on September 24, 2020 revealed that 24% of respondents’ organizations increased their artificial intelligence (AI) investments and 42% kept them unchanged since the onset of COVID-19.
Growth – namely customer experience and retention, and revenue growth – along with cost optimization were the top focus areas for their current AI initiatives.
Over the course of the next six-nine months, 75% of respondents will continue or start new AI initiatives as they move into the Renew phase of their organization’s post-pandemic Reset.
“Enterprise investment in AI has continued unabated despite the crisis,” said Frances Karamouzis, distinguished research vice president at Gartner. “However, the most significant struggle of moving AI initiatives into production is the inability for organizations to connect those investments back to business value.”
Seventy-nine percent of respondents said their organizations were exploring or piloting AI projects, while only 21% stated their AI initiatives were in production.
The minimal strides made across organizations in operationalizing AI cannot necessarily be attributed to lack of AI talent.
A Gartner survey of 607 IT leaders in November and December 2019 found that only 7% of respondents said that limited AI skills are a barrier to AI implementation.
Instead, security and privacy concerns, along with the complexity of integrating AI within existing infrastructure, are at the top of the list.