IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

AI/ML Knowledge Gap Presents Opportunity

New research from Rackspace finds top use cases for AI/ML are data analytics and innovation drivers, but organizations are struggling with implementation. By Colleen Frye

INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY, improved customer satisfaction, streamlined processes, and lower operations costs are the top benefits of implementing artificial intelligence and machine learning programs, according to new research from Rackspace. Survey results from the report Are Organizations Succeeding at AI and ML? also reveal that business units with the most potential to benefit from AI/ML efforts include IT (43%), operations (33%), customer service (32%), and finance (32%).

Yet the research also finds that organizations typically lack the expertise and infrastructure to successfully incorporate AI/ML into their operations, and the vast majority of respondents (82%) are still exploring or struggling with how to implement it. While 44% of respondents report that their AI and machine learning R&D efforts have been successful, 34% say projects have been tested and abandoned or failed. Respondents chalk up failed efforts to lack of data quality, lack of skills, and lack of production-ready data.

Source: Rackspace, Jan. 2021, Are Organizations Succeeding at AI and ML?

Those that have implemented AI/ML successfully say the top two use cases are as a component of data analytics (40%) and as a driver of innovation (38%).

Respondents report that planned projects are primarily aimed at customer experience enhancements, including offering new services (38%), understanding customers better (36%), delivering personalized content for customers (33%), and understanding the effectiveness of content marketing channels and content (29%).

For organizations getting started with AI/ML, the report recommends cleaning up data and data processes, setting specific goals and creating a roadmap, and obtaining organizational buy-in. These are all potential opportunities for channel pros. Indeed, the data finds that the majority of organizations (62%) are already working with an experienced provider to some degree.

There is still plenty of pie to go around, however, as organizations look to AI/ML to remain competitive in their move toward digital transformation, according to IDC, which forecasts spending on AI to double over the next four years, growing from $50.1 billion in 2020 to more than $110 billion in 2024.

Image: iStock

About the Author

Colleen Frye's picture

Colleen Frye is ChannelPro's managing editor.

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