Asia-Pacific lags in the race to deploy artificial intelligence.
In the United States, artificial intelligence has already been accepted and implemented into the workplace. In that regard, Asia-Pacific is a bit behind. According to a Microsoft and IDC study, only 41 percent of organizations in Asia-Pacific have embarked on their AI journeys.
"Asia-Pacific is not ready yet for AI," says Victor Lim, vice president of consulting operations of IDC Asia/Pacific. "To succeed in [the] AI race, markets in the region need to substantially improve their readiness. Organizations' leadership should make AI a core part of their strategy and develop a learning agility culture. They have to continuously invest in this transformative technology for the long-term success, sometimes without immediate returns. There is an urgent need for talents and tools to develop, deploy, and monitor AI models, along with the availability of a robust data estate with the adequate governance."
Despite the low percentage of AI use across Asia-Pacific, there is agreement on its worth, with 80 percent of business leaders polled stating that it is instrumental for their organization's competitiveness. In fact, those who have adopted AI expect it to increase their competitiveness 100 percent by 2021.
For the organizations that have implemented AI initiatives, the top five business drivers to adopt the technology were better customer engagement (26 percent of respondents), higher competitiveness (19 percent), higher margins (18 percent), accelerated innovation (15 percent), and more productive employees (9 percent).
Business leaders who are adopting AI face three top challenges: a lack of thought leadership and leadership commitment to invest in AI; a lack of tools and infrastructure to develop actionable insights; and a lack of skills, resources, and continuous learning programs. There is also a reported lack of risk taking, proactive innovation, and cross-function partnerships among teams.