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Half of businesses unclear on AI impact despite high investment
Fri, 29th Mar 2024

Despite aggressive investment in AI by 82% of businesses, half are unclear about its true business impact and the roadmap for its integration. A new report released by Orgvue reveals these and other contradictions within the business community concerning technology investment and AI's impact on the workforce.

The report, 'Human-first, machine enhanced: the role of AI in workforce transformation', reveals businesses are continuing to increase investment in AI. It is based on an international survey of 1,000 C-suite and senior decision-makers at medium and large organisations. Approximately 69% of these organisations are confident AI will be embedded in core business operations by 2025, but 39% admit they lack the organisational expertise to do this.

On one hand, 61% of respondents say they expect AI to replace people in their organisation, with 41% thinking AI will completely disrupt their industry. Furthermore, 69% indicate that AI will be a significant driver of workforce transformation over the next three years. Conversely, 48% are unsure how they will manage developments in AI to optimise its use.

Oliver Shaw, CEO of Orgvue, reflects on these findings and highlights a worrying dichotomy: "There's a contradiction between the need for business leaders to prepare for AI entering the workforce, their desire for change, and the organisation's ability to make this transformation a reality."

Expectations surrounding AI's potential for growth and productivity are high, with 79% of business leaders displaying optimism. However, many express serious concerns. About 70% feel responsible for protecting the workforce from redundancies before adopting AI, and 78% believe human intervention is crucial to prevent negative outcomes from AI. To address these concerns, 80% plan to reskill employees to use AI in the workplace.

Regulation is another area of concern, with 78% of respondents wanting the government to introduce stricter rules and regulations. It appears 54% regard current regulation as inadequate, having not kept pace with AI investment, and 70% believe that AI should be regulated immediately.

Shaw highlights a serious issue regarding varied perspectives at different levels within organisations: "Divisional leaders are less convinced on the impact of AI, with noticeable scepticism over the value AI can bring and how quickly it can realistically be embedded into routine business operations."

A disparate understanding between top management and those responsible for delivery can jeopardise long-term plans for business change. Shaw emphasises the need for CEOs to gain a comprehensive understanding of how AI will impact the existing work and skills within their organisations to achieve their AI ambitions.

In summary, an urgent need exists for clear plans when investing in AI. Decisions about organisational structure may be the determining factor between the success or failure of AI investment. If the changes AI brings need to be successful, they must be delivered from the top-down.