TECH SUPPLIER Sep 2021 - IDC Survey - Doc # US48204021

Future of Operations Survey Findings, Part 1: The Opportunities and Challenges of AI

By: Leif EriksenResearch Vice President, Future of Operations

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Abstract

This IDC Survey focuses on the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in operations.* It is a summary of data from IDC's 2021 Future of Operations Worldwide Survey.

The promise of AI in operations has been universally touted, but the reality has rarely been documented. Data from IDC's Future of Operations Worldwide Survey provides that reality check, and the results are eye opening. In general, the benefits of AI have been mostly underwhelming. Many organizations underestimated the challenges and, in particular, the need for more and better quality data than they possessed. They also overestimated the ability of AI to deal with operational data and its unique characteristics.

It's not all disappointing news. There is a strong correlation between digital technology posture and AI project success. There is also a strong positive correlation with operational data availability and access. While not surprising, these correlations point to a strategy for success. Organizations should take a phased and measured approach to the use of AI. In many cases, there is plenty of value to be gained through other investments that may also lay the foundation for future AI projects. Many of these investments and the value they generate were also uncovered by the survey. These will be shared in other future of operations research documents.

IDC describes operations as including any activity or physical process that is integral to executing an organization's core business including producing goods or services, moving goods or services, and maintaining assets, infrastructure, or facilities.


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