As Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to embed itself into our society, its economic ramifications are becoming more palpable. A new study, commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by IDC, unpacks the potential of AI to drive economic impact and business value. This article delves into the findings of the study, discussing the opportunities AI presents for organizations, the challenges in its adoption, and how companies are leveraging AI for transformative outcomes.
As Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to weave its way into the fabric of society, it is becoming increasingly clear that its economic impact will be substantial. Companies are just beginning to grasp the extent of what’s possible with AI, and business leaders need help demystifying the business case for AI.
To shed light on the opportunities AI can unlock, Microsoft commissioned a study through IDC. This study provides unique insights into how AI is being used to drive economic impact for organizations. IDC surveyed over 2,000 business leaders and decision-makers worldwide, all responsible for bringing AI transformation to life within their organizations.
Key Findings from the Study
According to the study, 71% of respondents say their companies are already using AI, and 92% of AI deployments are taking 12 months or less. For every $1 a company invests in AI, it realizes an average return of $3.5X. However, 52% report that a lack of skilled workers is their biggest barrier to implementing and scaling AI.
The results indicate that AI has demonstrable business value. This value is surfacing in core use cases within areas like employee experience, customer engagement, and internal business processes. The deal is exponentially more excellent with generative AI technologies like ChatGPT from OpenAI.
“IDC is projecting that generative AI will add nearly $10 trillion to global GDP over the next ten years,” said Ritu Jyoti, Group Vice President of AI and Automation for IDC.
How Companies are Leveraging AI
Companies use AI to enrich employee experiences, reinvent customer engagement, reshape business processes, and bend the curve on innovation.
Concerning employee experiences, AI is being used to bring together unstructured data like social media, product details, and customer engagement to better tailor communications, enable more intelligent insights, and solve problems faster. Azure OpenAI and Microsoft Copilot are used in Microsoft 365 to augment copywriting capabilities.
AI is also used to drive greater customer loyalty by applying the AI capabilities of Dynamics 365 in contact centers for real-time assistance and guidance on suggested responses. Azure-powered virtual assistants are being used to deliver hyper-personalized experiences across different verticals like healthcare for processing claims and entertainment for sports fans.
On the business process front, AI is being used in manufacturing and operations to create digital replicas of their supply chain environments to run simulations and optimize workflow management, resulting in enhanced supply chain efficiency.
Challenges and the Way Forward
Despite the enthusiasm to adopt AI technology, organizations need help with implementation. A shortage of skilled employees is holding companies back from accelerating their AI-based innovations, with 52 percent of those surveyed reporting a need for more skilled workers as the top blocker. Microsoft is addressing this skilling gap and has engaged over 6 million people globally in learning activities.