C-suite leaders worldwide are gearing up for an AI-powered future, with a staggering 94% intending to escalate technology spending in 2024, honing in on the data/AI realm, reveals a new global study. The findings underscore a unanimous belief in the transformative potential of generative AI, with executives foreseeing its impact on market share and industry dynamics.
Heading into 2024, the C-suite's paramount concern revolves around adapting to rapid technological advancements and innovations, including AI and automation, surpassing apprehensions related to cyber threats and data breaches (55% vs. 48%). Consequently, organisations are gearing up for increased technology spending, with a pivotal focus on data and AI initiatives.
According to Accenture's Pulse of Change C-suite survey, a substantial 51% are actively adopting AI tools and technology to fortify cybersecurity measures, while almost 9 in 10 C-suite members report integrating generative AI tools into their professional activities at least once a week.
Despite substantial progress in generative AI training, executives acknowledge workforce hesitancy, citing challenges such as the time it takes to learn new tools (44%).
Looking ahead, one of the C-suite's foremost concerns for 2024 is the ability to adapt to technological advancements and innovations, particularly in AI (55%). As a direct response, technology spending is rising in the data/AI landscape, paralleled by a significant emphasis on bolstering cybersecurity (74% and 51%, respectively). The symbiotic relationship between the two is evident, with 51% of organisations extensively adopting AI tools to enhance cybersecurity across multiple business domains.
Top of mind priorities
With a focus on enhancing job satisfaction and enabling meaningful tasks, over 55% of C-suite leaders express the importance of reducing time spent on mundane tasks. Simultaneously, 53% highlight generative AI's role in empowering individuals to engage in more meaningful tasks aligned with their areas of interest.
While the adoption of generative AI enhances existing workforce skills, it simultaneously ushers in a demand for new skills. The C-suite is proactively gearing up to acquire these skills, with priorities including AI training specialists (50%), AI domain scientists (39%), and industry AI value strategists (37%).
Accenture Research engaged 2,425 C-suite executives across 13 countries and diverse industries and functions in October 2023 for the survey.