Businessman with AI

CIOs open to AI but return on investment concerns continue to plague adoption

Chief Information Officers (CIOs) have indicated a keen interest in integrating artificial intelligence (AI) systems into their existing processes to improve productivity in the face of mounting ethical and business concerns.

According to new research by Lenovo (NASDAQ: LNVGF), over 51% of respondents say AI and machine learning infrastructure ranks at the top of the pile for integrations into their IT departments. The “Inside The Tornado: How AI is Reshaping Corporate IT Today” report surveyed 750 CIOs from leading global corporations across four continents.

The study, in its third iteration, noted that while CIOs are angling for AI integrations, several factors continue to stand in the way of widespread adoption. Only 39% of polled respondents have the prerequisite infrastructure to introduce AI, with less than 25% possessing the ethics for a wide-scale pivot.

Despite the glaring lack of AI readiness, 81% of CIOs confirm that their organizations are dabbling with the technology via third-party offerings while others are going headfirst with their proprietary solutions. 

The frantic activity can be rationalized by the more than 80% of respondents affirming that AI will have an “extremely significant impact on their business.” Rather than sit on their hands, firms are opting to play roulette with the technology to avoid playing catchup with industry first-movers.

“Rushing to ship some underdeveloped AI solutions in your product pipeline because of FOMO is not a good idea,” said Arkreach CTO Neeraj Kumar. “It’s time to shift away from the launch first, think later, mentality, and concentrate on creating the future by not repeating yesterday’s mistakes, even if it leads to a delay.”

Experts say that firms should invest in equipping staff with technical skills to improve business process automation and data analytics in order to prepare for AI. Other areas to focus on include computing infrastructure, corporate policy on AI use and security awareness.

Lenovo’s study says the new buzz brings AI on par with the cybersecurity needs of organizations ahead of data privacy and network connectivity. Only 15% of CIOs say distributed ledger technologies are a priority for their organization, with 14% pitching their tent with metaverse and robotics.

The ROI debacle

For all the perks of workplace efficiency stemming from AI, 42% of CIOs say they will not be able to receive a return on investment (ROI) for at least three years. Five percent of surveyed respondents remain unsure of a timeframe to expect ROI, with 35% claiming early returns over the last year.

Across the board, AI investments are difficult to quantify, given the dynamics stemming from user experience and other soft metrics. The report opines that the difficulty in quantifying ROI could affect the budgetary allocations to IT departments seeking funds to develop their AI systems.

“Ultimately, AI initiatives should be viewed as a necessary business investment that can yield results over time as the portfolio of AI projects begins to deliver results,” said Dish TV CEO Abhishek Gupta.

In order for artificial intelligence (AI) to work right within the law and thrive in the face of growing challenges, it needs to integrate an enterprise blockchain system that ensures data input quality and ownership—allowing it to keep data safe while also guaranteeing the immutability of data. Check out CoinGeek’s coverage on this emerging tech to learn more why Enterprise blockchain will be the backbone of AI.

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