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‘State of AI in the Enterprise’ Fourth Edition: Becoming an AI-fueled Organization A Survey from the Deloitte AI Institute

Research uncovers what today’s AI-fueled organizations are doing differently to drive success

Key takeaways

  • Survey respondents with an enterprise-wide AI strategy and leadership who communicate a bold vision are nearly 1.7 times more likely to achieve high outcomes.
  • Organizations that document and enforce MLOps processes are twice as likely to achieve their AI goals. They’re also nearly twice as likely to report being extremely prepared for risks associated with AI.
  • Those that make significant investments in change management are 1.6 times more likely to report that AI initiatives exceed expectations and over 1.5 times more likely to achieve their desired goals.
  • Organizations with more diverse ecosystems were 1.4 times more likely to use AI in a way that differentiates them from their competitors.

New York, Oct. 21, 2021

Why this matters

Deloitte AI Institute’s fourth edition of the “State of AI in the Enterprise” survey, conducted between March and May 2021, explores the deeper transformations happening inside organizations that are using AI to drive value in order to understand what the most “AI-fueled organizations” are doing to drive success. The report finds that AI-fueled organizations leverage data as an asset to deploy and scale AI systematically across all types of core business processes in a human-centered way.

By surveying 2,875 executives from 11 countries across the Americas, Europe and Asia, the report identifies the leading practices that were aligned with the marketplace leaders across industries. The findings in the report aim to help companies overcome challenges to becoming an AI-fueled organization, no matter what stage of AI transformation they are in, and especially to help those who are earlier in their transformation.

Profiles in AI maturity
In order to assess organizations’ AI maturity, Deloitte grouped responding organizations into four profiles based on how many types of AI applications they have deployed full-scale and the number of outcomes achieved to a high degree.

  • Twenty-eight percent (28%) of survey respondents are “Transformers,” who report high outcomes and a high number of AI deployments. This group has identified and largely adopted leading practices associated with the strongest AI outcomes.
  • Twenty-six percent (26%) of respondents are “Pathseekers,” reporting high outcomes, but a low number of deployments. Pathseekers have adopted capabilities and behaviors that are leading to success, but on fewer initiatives and they have not scaled to the same degree as Transformers.
  • “Underachievers” were 17% of respondents, reporting low outcomes and a high number of deployments. While these organizations have a significant amount of AI deployment activity, they haven’t adopted enough leading practices to help them effectively achieve meaningful outcomes.
  • “Starters”—29% of survey respondents—reported low outcomes and a low number of deployments. These organizations have gotten a late start in building AI capabilities and are the least likely to demonstrate leading practice behaviors.

An organization’s AI maturity can be profiled based on the number of applications deployed and application effectiveness


Key quotes

Becoming an AI-fueled organization is to understand that the transformation process is never complete, but rather a journey of continuous learning and improvement.

Nitin Mittal, Deloitte AI co-leader, and principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

By embracing AI strategically and challenging orthodoxies, organizations can define a roadmap for adoption, quality delivery and scale to create or unlock value faster than ever before.

Irfan Saif, Deloitte AI co-leader, and principal, Deloitte & Touche LLP

The risks associated with AI remain top of mind for executives. We found that high-achieving organizations report being more prepared to manage risks associated with AI and confident that they can deploy AI initiatives in a trustworthy way.

Beena Ammanath, executive director of the Deloitte AI Institute, Deloitte Consulting LLP.


Leading practices drive AI success
In analyzing the four organizational profiles, the report identified the behaviors most associated with strong outcomes, and leading practices in the following categories: strategy, operations, culture and change management, and ecosystems.


Strategy leading practice
AI-fueled organizations view AI as a key element of business differentiation and success, and they set an enterprise-wide strategy that is championed from the top.


  • Transformers were three times more likely to have an enterprise-wide strategy in place, and twice as likely as Starters to report a differentiated AI approach.
  • However, only 40% of survey respondents completely agreed that their company has an enterprise-wide AI strategy in place, leaving room for improvement.
  • While 66% of respondents view AI as critical to success, only 38% believe their use of AI differentiates them from competitors.

Operations leading practice
AI-fueled organizations establish new operating models and processes that drive sustained quality, innovation, and value creation.

  • Organizations that have undergone significant changes to workflows or added new roles are almost 1.5 times more likely to achieve outcomes to a high degree.
  • Organizations that document and enforce MLOps processes are twice as likely to achieve their goals; nearly two times more likely to report being extremely prepared for risks associated with AI; and nearly two times more confident that they can deploy AI initiatives in a trustworthy way.
  • Survey results exposed a disconnect, however, as only about one-third of respondents report that they have adopted leading operational practices for AI

Culture and change management leading practice
AI-fueled organizations nurture a trusting, agile, data-fluent culture and invest in change management to support new ways of working.

  • Organizations that invest in change management to a high degree are 1.6 times more likely to report that AI initiatives exceed expectations and over 1.5 times more likely to achieve their desired goals.
  • However, most organizations underinvest this area. Only 37% of survey respondents reported significant investment in change management, incentives, or training activities to help their people integrate new technology into their work, often resulting in a slower, less successful transformation.

Ecosystems leading practice
AI-fueled organizations orchestrate dynamic ecosystems that build and protect competitive differentiation.

  • Eighty-three percent (83%) of the highest achieving organizations (Transformers and Pathfinders) create a diverse ecosystem of partnerships to execute their AI strategy.
  • Organizations with diverse ecosystems are significantly more likely to have a transformative vision for AI, enterprise-wide AI strategies, and use AI as a strategic differentiator.

Connect with us: @Deloitte, @DeloitteAI, @nmittalanalytic, @irfansaif, @beena_ammanath

The Deloitte AI Institute supports the positive growth and development of AI through engaged conversations and innovative research. It also focuses on building ecosystem relationships that help advance human-machine collaboration in the “Age of With,” a world where humans work side-by-side with machines.

About Deloitte
Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including nearly 90% of the Fortune 500® and more than 7,000 private companies. Our people come together for the greater good and work across the industry sectors that drive and shape today’s marketplace — delivering measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to see challenges as opportunities to transform and thrive, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthier society. Deloitte is proud to be part of the largest global professional services network serving our clients in the markets that are most important to them. Building on more than 175 years of service, our network of member firms spans more than 150 countries and territories. Learn how Deloitte’s more than 345,000 people worldwide connect for impact at


Melissa Neumann
Public Relations
Deloitte Services LP
+1 408 666 1946

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