HR Tech Number of the Day: AI adoption

Despite high interest in AI implementation, few companies have successfully embedded the technology enterprise-wide.
By: | April 27, 2021 • 2 min read

6%: Percentage of C-suite leaders who have adopted AI-powered solutions across the organization

The value of artificial intelligence in powering business operations is undeniable. In fact, a recent survey of 700 business leaders and employees found that a full 95% acknowledge that their organization would benefit from embedding AI across the company—into daily operations, products and services.

However, most organizations are far from that goal. The research, conducted by networking and cybersecurity solutions provider Juniper Networks, found that just 6% of C-suite leaders surveyed said their respective companies have actually adopted AI-powered solutions widely. What’s more, only 22% reported that their organizations are using AI to automate decisions for employees.

Advertisement

What it means to HR leaders

The eagerness for AI adoption is certainly there—88% of respondents said they want to maximize their use of AI. So, what’s stopping the progress?

Juniper identified three primary obstacles to widespread AI adoption:

  1. AI-ready technology stacks: Survey participants said their organizations are struggling to create and manage the data sets needed to properly power AI solutions. In particular, they cited developing such data models as the top challenge, followed by moving AI initiatives from pilot phases to actual production; standardizing, labeling and cleansing data sets; and managing the use of AI with other technologies already in play.
  2. Reading the workforce: Nearly three-quarters of respondents said their organizations are struggling to prepare their workers to leverage AI. C-suite respondents ranked hiring new, AI-adept employees as higher priority than training current workers to use the technology.
  3. AI governance: While almost 90% of C-suite executives said having proper AI governance in place is important to stay ahead of legislation, only 20% cited governance as a top priority in optimizing their AI strategies. Instead, expanding current AI capabilities into new business units was the top-ranked goal.

See also: Tech spend rising but adoption challenges remain

Sharon Mandell, senior vice president and chief information officer at Juniper Networks, says organizations need to refine their AI-adoption strategies around these obstacles if they want to make significant progress.

Advertisement

“For artificial intelligence, there is no doubt that there is light at the end of the challenge-filled tunnel and significant potential to generate even more meaningful and incredible outcomes than we’ve seen so far,” she says. “By focusing on upskilling their workforce, investing in strong infrastructure—including data, cloud and networking capabilities—and implementing enterprise-wide AI governance, organizations are preparing for the digital workforce of tomorrow.”

Related: Learn more about AI and HR at the annual HR Technology Conference & Exposition, Sept. 28-Oct. 1 in Las Vegas. Register here.

Jen Colletta is managing editor at HRE. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining HRE. She can be reached at hreletters@lrp.com.