59 per cent of organisations in India have actively adopted AI: IBM survey

They have increased investments in AI, in areas like R&D, workforce re-skilling


Around 59 per cent of Indian enterprises (with an average 1,000 employees) have actively adopted artificial intelligence (AI), making India among the countries with the largest AI adoption, a survey by IBM revealed.

As per the ‘IBM Global AI Adoption Index 2023’ conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of IBM, early adopters are leading the way. They have increased their investments in AI in the past 24 months, in areas like R&D and workforce re-skilling.

The report found that ongoing challenges of AI adoption remain, including hiring employees with the right set of skills and ethical concerns. Hence, in the year 2024, addressing such concerns would be a priority.

“The increase in AI adoption and investments by Indian enterprises is a good indicator that they are already experiencing the benefits of AI. However, there is still a significant opportunity to accelerate as many businesses are hesitant to move beyond experimentation and deploy AI at scale,” remarked Sandip Patel, managing director, IBM India & South Asia.

“To harness its full potential in the coming months, data and AI governance tools are going to be critical for building AI models responsibly that enterprises can trust and confidently adopt. Without the use of governance tools, AI can expose companies to data privacy issues, legal complications, and ethical dilemmas – cases of which we have already seen plaguing many across the world,” added Patel.

The IBM research further found that over the last several years, AI adoption has remained steady at large organisations. About 59 per cent of IT professionals at large organisations report that they have actively deployed AI while an additional 27 per cent are actively exploring using the technology. Similarly, around 6 in 10 IT professionals at enterprises reported that their company is actively implementing generative AI and another 34 per cent are exploring it.

The report further highlighted that 74 per cent of IT professionals at companies deploying or exploring AI indicate that their company has accelerated their investments in the rollout of AI in the past 24 months in areas like R&D (67 per cent), reskilling of the workforce, development (55 per cent) and building proprietary AI solutions (53 per cent).

The report further said easier-to-use AI tools and the need to reduce costs and automate processes are driving AI adoption among surveyed companies. According to the report, the skills gap remains the biggest barrier to AI adoption in India and the lack of tools and platforms for developing AI models is also a major hindrance in AI adoption in India. Besides, it was found that many found that the AI projects were too complex or difficult to integrate and scale and there were ethical concerns and too much data complexity.

The report observed that despite understanding the importance of AI, only a minority are taking key steps towards trustworthy AI like reducing bias, tracking data provenance, making sure they can explain the decisions of their AI models, or developing ethical AI policies. As per the report, the top barriers for developing trustworthy and ethical AI are the lack of an AI strategy, lack of company guidelines, and lack of AI governance and management tools that work across all data environments.

AI is already having an impact on the workforce in the companies that took the survey. They are tapping AI to do things like reduce manual or repetitive tasks, automate customer self-service answers and actions and improve recruiting and human resources. Many organisations are also currently training or reskilling employees to work together with new automation and AI tools. The majority of organisation surveyed also said employees at their organisation are excited to work with new AI and automation tools.

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