AI-first approach drives increased ROI: Gartner

A recent survey by Gartner looked into how organizations use artificial intelligence (AI) and what factors they consider when evaluating new AI opportunities. The survey included responses from 622 organizations in the U.S., France, the U.K., and Germany.

The survey revealed that 55 per cent of organizations with previous AI experience always think about using AI for new tasks they encounter. However, more than half of the organizations (52 per cent) say considering the risk factors is essential when deciding whether to implement new AI projects.

According to Erick Brethenoux, an analyst at Gartner, adopting an AI-first approach leads to better returns on investment.

“However, AI-first does not mean AI-only,” he said. “While AI-mature organizations are more likely to consider AI for every possible use case, they are also more likely to weigh risk as a critical factor when determining whether to move forward.”

Gartner defines “AI-mature” organizations as those that have used AI in more than five different ways across their business units for over three years. On average, the surveyed organizations had implemented 41 AI projects that had been running for the better part of three years.

When evaluating the benefits of AI projects, AI-mature organizations focus on a combination of technical and business factors (52 per cent). In contrast, less mature organizations primarily rely on technical aspects to assess AI’s value.

Additionally, AI-mature organizations pay more attention to how AI affects customer success, with 41 per cent using customer-related metrics to estimate the impact of AI, compared to 24 per cent in less mature organizations. Customer service emerged as one of the top three business areas benefiting from AI, mentioned by 47 per cent of AI-mature organizations and 34 per cent of less mature ones.

A significant difference among AI-mature organizations is that they involve legal experts during the initial stages of AI projects, Gartner said. They do this nearly four times more often compared to less experienced organizations.

“There is uncertainty around the ethics and legality of various AI tactics, as well as a fear of violating privacy regulations,” said Brethenoux. “Organizations that are more experienced with AI do not want to be told they’ve crossed a line once they are further along in the process of developing an AI use case.”

AI-mature organizations are also more likely to set measurable goals at the start of each AI project (67 per cent) compared to less mature organizations (44 per cent). Gartner said this practice helps AI-mature organizations better understand the impact of AI on their business and gain support from executives for new AI initiatives.

Gartner clients can read the full analysis here.

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Breanna Schnurr
Breanna Schnurr
Breanna Schnurr is a recent journalism graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University. She loves writing about all things data, travel, tech, lifestyle and subculture. You can reach out to Breanna via [email protected].

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