Nearly all (98%) CEOs surveyed in a study said there would be some immediate business benefits from implementing AI and ML, with the top benefits being increased productivity, data-driven decision-making, and improved collaboration. However, 49% of CEOs said their organisation is unprepared to adopt AI and ML as they lack some or all the tools, skills, and knowledge necessary to embrace these technologies, and 28% of CEOs want to wait to see how AI and ML affect their organization before they decide on their approach.
The report by Workday, which is based on insights from 2,355 business leaders from the offices of the CEO, CIO, CHRO, and CFO, reveals that leaders are optimistic about the potential impact of AI and ML despite concerns about trust and data accessibility.
"Despite some uncertainty, leaders are optimistic that AI and ML will augment their workforce and drive productivity," said Jim Stratton, chief technology officer, Workday. "Trust is paramount to embracing these benefits, and building trust requires the right data foundation and commitment to governance.”
CEOs and other business leaders know that AI and ML will impact their organisations, but some have been hesitant to fully embrace the technology. 71% said the global business landscape will be affected in the next three years, and 64% believe their organization as a whole will be affected by AI and ML in the next three years.
Among CEOs, 30% are concerned that employees will struggle to keep up with rapid changes as AI and ML become more integrated into their organisation. In addition, 32% of HR leaders and 30% of finance leaders worry their teams will not have the technical skills they need to work effectively with AI and ML.
While leaders have concerns about the immediate effect AI and ML adoption will have on employees, they are ultimately optimistic about the overall impact. 47% of business leaders believe AI and ML will significantly amplify human potential, and 45% of CEOs believe AI and ML will create a more equitable and diverse workforce.
What's holding them back?
Uncertainty about data and privacy, and a lack of trust are holding CEOs and other business leaders back from fully embracing and adopting AI and ML. 43% of all leaders surveyed said they were concerned about the trustworthiness of AI and ML, with 67% of CEOs citing potential errors as a top risk of AI and ML integration, reinforcing that lack of trust.
Increased transparency is needed to build trust, but siloed data is obscuring leaders' ability to lean in. 59% of organisations surveyed reported that their data is somewhat or completely siloed. Only 4% of all respondents said their data is fully accessible.