How 307 Major Companies Benefit from AI
Amplify human ingenuity
In recent years, mobile networks, big data and cloud computing have shaped our economy substantially. Now we can see even more far-reaching developments: Machine learning and artificial intelligence, together with the internet of things, provide the basis for smart cities, efficient energy solutions, new modes of transport and radically different ways of manufacturing.
AI will transform the way we do business, by opening new possibilities to respond to customer requirements and market conditions, enabling companies in all sectors to drive revenue, increase profits and remain competitive. More than this, AI will help us to amplify our human ingenuity, opening exciting new possibilities for an unbeatable man-machine team, and offering the chance to solve major humanitarian challenges – all with tremendous economic potential. Right now, we are just starting to explore the full potential of AI as a driver of transformational change. Many companies still wonder where exactly AI could create value or how to get started. Even among advanced adopters of AI technology many questions remain. How can companies apply AI to empower employees, engage with customers or transform their business? Where do the benefits lie, and what are their blockers?
To provide answers, Microsoft commissioned this study to understand the AI strategy of major companies across 7 sectors and 15 countries in Europe. It examines these companies’ readiness to adopt AI, how they rate the impact and benefits from AI implementations, and what they perceive as the risks and keys to success. We also spoke to a range of leading AI experts from business and academia to gain insights into the kind of change which we are on the cusp of, and the role AI is expected to play as part of a broader transformational wave. This report aims at getting a deeper understanding of how companies currently manage their AI activities, and how AI leaders address opportunities and challenges ahead. To summarise, overcoming challenges appears to be as much about culture and leadership as it is about data, analytics, and technology. As AI helps leaders tackle operational tasks more effectively, they can better shift their focus on empowering their people. This means trusting people to approach challenges in their own way and ensuring they are equipped to be at their best. According to our findings the most ‘AI mature’ companies expect AI will be beneficial in ‘empowering employees’, they trust AI to ‘engage customers’ and they see AI predominately being driven from a combination of technology push and business pull.
Our research confirmed some of the key ingredients necessary for AI in organizations: A combination of domain and technical expertise, the appropriate technology, the right talent, and lots and lots of data. While letting tech-savvy individuals drive innovation is great for building understanding, true transformation will come when business people start suggesting problems for AI to solve – not the other way around.
At Microsoft, our goal is to democratise access to AI for everyone through innovative and powerful platforms. Above all, we’re focused on ensuring that our AI tools and technologies are deployed responsibly and ethically, in order to earn people’s trust.
We hope you find these insights inspirational for your own journey towards adopting AI and realizing its benefits in order to amplify human ingenuity in your organization.
Managing Director Microsoft Germany