Why Building AI-Agility Will Soon Become the Top Priority of Technology Leaders

by James Briggs – CEO and Co-founder AI Collaborator

Among other things, 2021 proved to be an excellent year for providers of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions and services as companies sought to address the gaps left exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Researcher IDC estimated that worldwide AI spending grew to nearly $350 billion as the pandemic accelerated the adoption of machine learning and other AI technologies. Additionally, a recent study by PWC confirmed that fifty-two percent of large companies accelerated their AI adoption plans because of the pandemic. And yet, even with such significant investments, all is far from perfect in enterprise AI. AI project failure rates remain troublingly high: Tech Republic estimates that eighty-five percent of AI projects eventually fail to deliver their intended results. And most businesses still struggle to acquire the critical talent and other technical resources needed to facilitate their AI transformations. To overcome these struggles, technology leaders such as CIOs and CDOs must move beyond their early adopter mindsets and reframe their AI adoption strategies to build organizational AI agility.

What exactly is AI agility? Very simply, an organization can efficiently assemble the resources needed to build its AI capacity to meet its business priorities. At the most basic level, harnessing the power of AI comes down to an organization’s ability to access and effectively deploy the AI technologies, talent, and data resources required to take projects from inception through implementation. In today’s business environment, intense competition for these same resources is being waged internally and externally as more businesses seek to become more flexible, adaptable, and innovative in the face of uncertainty and adversity. AI technologies and talents are considered mission-critical business continuity and transformation strategies elements. Thus, we define AI agility as an organization’s adaptability to meet its internal demands for AI deployments.

As AI becomes established in many industries, demand for AI talent is increasing exponentially. At the same time, technology leaders of most large organizations can neither hire their way out of their AI-resources challenges to build internal capacity nor upskill enough employees to close the sizable gaps fully. Instead, technology leaders must think more strategically and seek differentiated solutions that increase their AI agility, focusing on long-term organizational needs. Acknowledging that AI is different, and demands a more versatile approach, is an important first step. After all, AI is a vast field. There isn’t a single area of expertise that will fully guarantee business success since AI expertise spans many business functions.

If the pandemic taught technology leaders anything, it is that the ability to adapt quickly and decisively is paramount when addressing critical resource matters during periods of uncertainty. Indeed, it can mean the difference between thriving and struggling to survive.

AI Collaborator works with technology and procurement leaders across large sectors, such as education, pharmaceuticals, automotive, retail, consumer goods, and others, helping them improve their organization’s AI agility through collaborations. If your organization is ready to consider a new and differentiated approach to competing in today’s complex business climate, we look forward to working with you.