Posted: 01 May. 2019 4 min. read

Future in the balance? How business leaders around the world are pursuing the advantages of AI

—and what you can learn from their experience

As nations around the world dedicate investment, incentives, and talent to developing the capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI), more and more business leaders are coming to view AI as a catalyst for the next great economic expansion. But lacking a well-developed AI strategy, many worry about missing out on potential gains. 

Deloitte’s latest State of AI in the Enterprise survey takes the global pulse of AI, exploring structural and financial implications for business leaders. To find out how early adopters in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, France, the UK, and the US are approaching AI initiatives, read on—or download the full report here.

The takeaway: No matter where your organization is on its AI journey—playing catch-up with global rivals, using a focused project-oriented approach, or pursuing larger-scale initiatives—there are multiple paths to AI success. By examining AI early adopters through a global lens, we’ve identified a balanced approach designed to help you maximize your organization’s unique AI advantages.

Three practices that can help you develop a winning AI strategy: 

Balance caution and action. Create a sense of AI urgency in your organization—you need to take advantage of the small window for competitive differentiation. Yet moving too quickly carries its own risks. Let your strategic priorities help guide your AI strategy. Build a strong foundation for an AI-powered future with effective practices for data management, experimentation, operational discipline, and talent development. (Read the full report to learn how other countries are balancing AI-related concerns with strategies to address cybersecurity fears, manage ethical questions, and build trust in AI systems.)

Balance the scale of your efforts. Don’t be afraid to be ambitious. Especially if you’re playing catch-up, your AI initiatives don’t need to start small. Consider pursuing a diverse portfolio of projects that will enhance multiple business functions. Instead of building AI capabilities in house, explore ways to ramp up quickly using cloud-based AI services or partnerships. Remember: As with most new technologies, AI will become easier to acquire over time, with smaller demands on in-house infrastructure, data requirements, and expertise.

Balance your approach to talent. While many organizations are looking to the external market to build AI expertise, opportunities to train existing employees abound. Build an education plan to help you identify and prepare current developers, IT staff, and other employees who could help advance your AI efforts. Develop structured ways to integrate AI into roles and functions—and be prepared to evolve them over time. Develop a vision of your “augmented workforce,” and find ways to move toward that goal.

There's clearly no one-size-fits-all approach to adopting and integrating AI. But as AI-fueled transformation of businesses and industries takes shape, the window for differentiation is shrinking. As the technology evolves, combining enthusiasm with a balanced approach to AI goals and execution can help both companies and countries reap the competitive benefits of AI success.

Download the full report

Future in the balance? How countries are pursuing an AI advantage Insights from Deloitte’s State of AI in the Enterprise, 2nd Edition 


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