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A new survey conducted by Gartner has revealed that as many as 79% of global corporate strategists see AI, analytics and automation as critical drivers for success over the next two years.
Conducted between October 2022 and April 2023, the poll highlights enterprises’ growing focus on next-gen technologies. Now, companies are looking at advanced systems not only to handle repetitive or basic tasks but also high-value projects directly related to business growth, such as strategic planning and decision-making.
Gartner interviewed nearly 200 corporate strategy leaders for the survey, covering companies serving different industries in North America, Western Europe, Asia-Pacific, Australia and New Zealand.
The wide possibilities
Even though just 15% of strategic planning and execution activities are currently automated, survey respondents expressed high levels of optimism about the possibilities that lie ahead. In fact, most said that on average, 50% of these activities could be partially or fully automated in the near future.
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According to the surveyed leaders, growth is bound to come as they’re forced to tackle more initiatives, more data and more decisions with limited time and resources — something that is not possible without faster/better ways to crunch and analyze data.
“Leveraging analytics and AI for more efficient, insightful strategy decisions is one of the biggest challenges and opportunities corporate strategists face this year,” said David Akers, director for research at Gartner.
“For years, strategists have told their businesses: If you want to stay competitive and effective, you need to go digital,” he continued. “Now, they appear ready to apply that guidance to their own workflows.”
Advanced technologies being explored
According to the survey findings, well-established technologies are seeing aggressive enterprise adoption, while emerging ones are still largely in the experimental phase.
For instance, 72% and 62% of respondents said they have deployed descriptive and diagnostic analytics into their workflows. However, roughly 26% and 41% had this answer for more advanced prescriptive and predictive analytics. Instead, for these technologies, most (47% and 45%, respectively) said they are either piloting or gathering knowledge.
Similarly, for currently-trending machine learning and natural language processing capabilities, just 20% and 23% of respondents said they have systems in the deployment stage. And, the majority still continues to be in the testing and pilot phase.
Key to deploying advanced AI and analytics
To move from experimentation to deployment, strategy leaders should focus on addressing three key challenges identified in the Gartner survey: determining business use cases, getting businesses/functions comfortable with technologies and getting the budget to bring those technologies into use.
The first is especially important as much of the advanced technology is already being used successfully elsewhere. Gartner says the problem can be addressed by mapping existing functionality to specific needs, then prioritizing different use cases that new technology could offer by asking questions about its purpose, impact and suitability.
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