Talent Shortage Not Holding Back AI Momentum

AI is here to stay, and if you believe Gartner’s 2019 CIO Survey, companies are deploying it fast.

The survey noted that the number of enterprises implementing AI projects grew a whopping 270 percent in the past four years and tripled in the past year. This growth is occurring across all industries with many companies struggling with acute talent shortages.

“Four years ago, AI implementation was rare, only 10 percent of survey respondents reported that their enterprises had deployed AI or would do so shortly. For 2019, that number has leapt to 37 percent — a 270 percent increase in four years,” said Chris Howard, distinguished research vice president at Gartner.

“If you are a CIO and your organization doesn’t use AI, chances are high that your competitors do and this should be a concern,” he added.

According to the Survey results, the deployment of AI tripled in the past year — rising from 25 percent in 2018 to 37 percent to date in 2019. A chief reason is maturing AI capabilities.

“We still remain far from general AI that can wholly take over complex tasks, but we have now entered the realm of AI-augmented work and decision science — what we call ‘augmented intelligence,’” added Howard.

Those deploying AI are also realizing that sustainable digital transformation and task automation go hand in hand. AI is now becoming integral to digital strategies and is already used in a variety of applications.

Survey results show that 52 percent of telco organizations deploy chatbots and 38 percent of healthcare providers rely on computer-assisted diagnostics. Other operational use cases for AI are fraud protection and consumer fragmentation.

However, this does not mean that talent shortages are going away anytime soon. In fact, 54 percent of respondents to a Gartner Research Circle Survey view skill shortage as the biggest challenge facing their organization.

“In order to stay ahead, CIOs need to be creative. If there is no AI talent available, another possibility is to invest in training programs for employees with backgrounds in statistics and data management. Some organizations also create job shares with ecosystem and business partners,” said Howard.