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Breaking down the barriers to AI adoption

The pace of AI adoption is seeing the technology become “mainstream”, according to a study from PwC. However, barriers remain as organisations grapple with their broader objectives and challenges in the face of this growing technology.

New research conducted by Faculty took a deep dive into organisations’ motivations, experiences and concerns with using AI. By understanding customer attitudes, we uncovered key insights into the AI purchase journey, and what resonates best with decision makers.

A challenging landscape

Despite a growing desire to engage with AI, organisations face increasing challenges. The need for specialist talent remains acute – 41% of 201 senior decision makers claim their organisation is limited by talent challenges. This is unsurprising, given the demand for specialist skills and data scientists is higher than ever.

It’s a shame, given many organisations have a wealth of quality data at their fingertips. Over half of those surveyed claim to have large quantities of secure, quality data ready to analyse and leverage. Yet 79% of businesses feel that talent, hybrid working, and logistics are the greatest hurdles in using AI to unlock insights. 

Despite the rate of technological change, over half of those surveyed still say technology risks, current technology becoming obsolete, and internal resistance to innovation are the biggest blockers for AI adoption. 

Of course, these concerns sit alongside the usual business issues that play a part in decision making. Low sales, lack of budget, as well as societal and political changes still influence decision making when it comes to AI adoption.

In-house vs external innovation

Despite the accessibility of AI, those surveyed were anxious around implementation. Key concerns include the integration of AI tools with existing systems, worries over safety, a lack of skilled resources to support such a project, and implementation time.

However, the research also uncovered that a partnership-led AI implementation mitigated some of these concerns. 63% of organisations said an AI partner, rather than a supplier, is best for successful implementation. Interestingly, 90% of those already engaging with an external AI partner were satisfied when doing so. 

The benefits of this included optimised internal operations, better decision making, and a consensus that people were able to use the AI to work on high value problems.

What’s promising is that three in four businesses would consider investing in further external AI in the next 3 years. For decision makers, the benefits are clear, with respondents recognising the potential for improved efficiency, lower costs, and improved profitability.

AI education

That said, not every business sees its full potential. Our findings show a high appetite for AI, but a low awareness of implementation processes. It is still viewed as a ‘buzzword’ by many, with an inherent wariness of implementing it without understanding the scale of work involved.

Despite this, AI is still front of mind for businesses. 93% are currently using, in the process of implementing, or would consider using AI in the future. Furthermore, 84% feel that AI and machine learning will grow in importance for their business over time, and 62% claim AI would be best suited at a central part of their organisation.

Future

It’s clear organisations still want to know more about how such technologies can fully integrate with existing systems. Leveraging an AI partnership is an easy way to do this. 

The need to place safety at the forefront will also be important, particularly at a time where algorithm bias and human interaction is a key consideration. Those in the process of AI implementation are more likely to be worried about safety issues, and an AI partnership can best alleviate these concerns with strategic guidance. X

AI partnerships are at the core of our work at Faculty. If you’d like to learn more about how a partnership with Faculty can help your organisation realise the benefits of AI, get in touch.

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