Artificial intelligence: Companies employing skilling initiatives and AI get most tech value, finds Microsoft
Artificial Intelligence research: A new research by Microsoft India has revealed that organisations combining the skilling initiatives with artificial intelligence are the ones which have been generating the most value from the technology. The research was released on Monday and for the purpose, the tech giant said in a statement that it conducted a global online survey of around 12,000 employees that were working in organisations having at least 250 workers.
In the statement, the company said that it divided the surveyed enterprises into three categories based on their readiness to include AI and the level of AI implementation across the organisation. These categories were AI Beginners, which included companies that had neither explored nor used the technology in any manner, AI Intermediates who were exploring or experimenting with AI, but in a limited capacity, and AI Leading enterprises which had AI at the core of their overall strategy.
The research found that most business leaders agreed with the fact that the more AI an organisation leveraged, the higher was the value derived from it. It cited figures of its research that among the AI Leading enterprises in India, the senior leaders of about 94% agreed that they were witnessing business value due to AI, as against around 59% of senior leaders from companies at the earlier stages of AI implementation.
However, the research also found that this increase in business value was not just because of implementation of more and more AI, but they needed to focus on the skill development of their employees. The statement added that the senior executives at all the AI Leading companies in India said that they were either actively developing the skills of its employees, or were planning to do so. This was confirmed by the employees of these organisations, with about 93% of the workers having confirmed that they were taking part in initiatives aimed at reskilling the employees. Approximately the same number of employees also stated that their organisations were preparing for an AI-dominated world.
The statement laid emphasis on the fact that the AI Leading organisations were also focused on a wholesome reskilling of their employees, training them in hardcore areas like programming and data analytics, while also honing their skills in areas like communication, negotiation and leadership.
The researchers hypothesized two reasons for why the leading companies are undertaking the skilling. One, AI can take over the repetitive tasks from people, allowing the human workforce to take care of higher-value activities like building customer relations, brainstorming new products or services, or undertaking professional development. Two, AI can crunch large amounts of data and provide insights based on it, but humans are required to convert those insights into actions with their creativity, customer-centricity and teamwork, to ensure that the organisations do derive value from the deployment of AI.
AI Augmentation in organisations
The research also found that 98% of the senior leaders, along with 87% employees said that they were AI augmented, meaning that the rapidly developing technology was helping them in becoming more effective at their jobs.
The statement added that nearly 93% said that they were enjoying an increase in operational efficiencies, since AI had picked up tasks that were simple and repetitive. However, the research found another interesting thing – the more a company was using AI, the more likely it was that its employees were using the technology to enable new business opportunities. While 72% of the AI Leading companies in India are using AI that allows their employees to innovate in terms of products and services, around 53% are using the technology to improve the experiences of their consumers. As against this, in all the markets that were surveyed globally, 57% of the AI mature companies were using the technology to develop new products and services, and 45% were using it for consumer experience.
AI and learn-it-all culture
The research found that as more AI and reskilling initiatives were undertaken by companies, it led to a culture of learn-it-all. Since AI is becoming more and more relevant, around 98% of the employees showed that they were highly motivated to learn more skills related to AI. Apart from this, when the employees were asked how they would like to spend more time when AI became more common in their companies, the most common response was ‘learning and development’. Moreover, employees showed willingness to employ the time freed up due to AI to sharpen their skills and work on activities that would add to the business’ strategic value, like planning, collaborating and solving.
On the other side, employers have also been noticing the employees’ inclination to develop AI skills and therefore, 97% of the senior leaders expressed their willingness to compensate the employees that gained expertise in AI, by either providing financial incentive, promotion or a combination of both.