Leaders have faith in AI – but adoption barriers persist

Mang-Git Ng, CEO and Co-founder at Anvil
Adoption of AI capabilities within SaaS companies is astonishingly low (7%), but leaders recognise they are falling behind their closest competitors

Despite leaders showing positivity over the benefits AI can bring to their businesses, that optimism hasn’t necessarily translated into adoption – at least not yet. 

Around three-quarters (74%) of executives say developing AI-powered products and services is important to their organisation, while (77%) believe investing in AI infrastructure to be critical.

But in reality, AI adoption within SaaS companies has barely left the ground, with only 7% reporting they have already adopted AI capabilities. 

COOs are said to be overwhelmingly the most pessimistic about adoption. 

What’s more, executives recognise they are falling behind. Almost three-quarters (72%) feel their firm is at a disadvantage in leveraging AI in comparison to their competitors. 

Software developer Anvil spoke to hundreds of C-suite executives and decision makers in the US to grasp AI adoption, sentiment and considerations, and ultimately produced its AI Readiness & Adoption Report for 2023. 

"The data illustrates that leaders across industries are trying to grasp the impacts of AI on their business,” says Mang-Git Ng, CEO and Co-founder at Anvil. “It is a once-in-a-generation technology that could have far-ranging effects on how businesses and even entire industries operate.

"The biggest challenge that AI companies have is helping leaders bridge the gap between AI being a ‘cool technology’ and ‘maximising value out of AI within the business’. For many, the key insight is to apply AI to existing workflows and not create new workflows in the process of adopting AI.”

Executives ‘drowning in data’

Another problem unearthed by Anvil’s research relates to data. 

More than three in five (61%) respondents feel like they are drowning in data and unable to gain actionable results as a result, compared to less than a quarter (23%) who disagree. 

A similar proportion say they need to: clean the data they already have (44%); store their data more effectively (44%); obtain better software solutions to manage data (42%). 

However, to address the aforementioned challenges, members of the C-suite are set to implement a number of tactics, including:

  • Allocating 41-50% of budget on AI (41-50%)
  • Seeking assistance from a third party for AI adoption (74%)
  • Educating employees on AI compliance and regulation (39%)

What’s more, perceived AI readiness was found by Anvil to be relatively high. Around a third of those surveyed say their organisation is ready to adopt AI capabilities and more than half (52%) agree their company is somewhat ready. 

Leaders are also looking to use AI to get ahead of the competition (32%) and to develop new products, services and offerings (31%). 

Read the full report: AI Readiness & Adoption Report 2023

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