Gartner has today revealed that the majority (79 percent) of corporate strategists believe that technologies such as analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will be critical to their business’ success over the next two years. It also found that 50 percent of strategic planning and execution activities may be partially or entirely automated throughout this time. Just over half (51 percent) of organisations are currently investigating machine learning (ML) and 45 percent said the same for predictive analytics.
Ash Finnegan, VP GTM innovation and transformation at Conga, welcomes these findings and outlines how organisations should approach digital change programmes as they increase their technology adoption:
“Business leaders are beginning to recognise the benefits that technologies such as AI, automation and analytics can bring to their organisation. However, it does not mean that these technologies are easy to implement as part of a company-wide digital change programme. As Gartner suggests, while most businesses reported that they have started using descriptive and diagnostic analytics, less than half said they are using more advanced tools such as predictive analytics to improve their operational efficiency. In fact, only 20 percent of corporate strategists reported using AI-related tools, including machine learning or natural language processing.
“According to Gartner, leveraging analytics and AI for more efficient, insightful strategy decisions is one of the biggest challenges organisations face this year, especially as budgets tighten. There needs to be a clear return on investment (ROI) and leaders need to be able to justify their chosen technologies. Automation and analytics can be great tools when applied correctly, however, AI is only as good as the data provided. If data remains unaccounted for, unstructured or siloed between departments, how can leaders implement truly meaningful change and use data to drive their decision making? Furthermore, introducing automation will only accelerate bad processes.
“Instead, leaders need to establish what is it they are trying to achieve when adopting these technologies. Most importantly, businesses need to consider how their data is currently being processed and stored before they consider applying AI or analytics. Especially if it is being used to make predictions of potential business outcomes or major strategic decisions for their organisation. Integrating systems and streamlining processes should be the top priority. Only by establishing a unified data model, where all data is auditable, available and actionable, will AI or analytics deliver a real ROI and take their business to the next level.”