AI to double rate of innovation in India by 2021: Microsoft-IDC study

AI to double rate of innovation in India by 2021: Microsoft-IDC study
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27 May, 2019

Artificial intelligence (AI) will more than double the rate of innovation and employee productivity in Indian enterprises by 2021, a new study conducted by Microsoft and market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) across the Asia Pacific region has shown.

“Today, every company is a software company, and increasingly, every interaction is digital. To be successful in this new world, organizations need to be a fast adopter of best-in-class technology; and in addition to that, they need to build their own unique digital capabilities,” said Rohini Srivathsa, national technology officer at Microsoft India.

The study said that organisations which had implemented AI were driven by factors such as higher competitiveness (24% of respondents), accelerated innovation (21%), better customer engagement (15%), higher margins (14%) and more productivity from employees (9%). Those enterprises that adopted AI saw improvements in these areas in the range of 8% to 22%.

“They forecast further improvements of at least 2.1 times in the three-year horizon, with the biggest jump expected in higher margins, and higher competitiveness,” Microsoft and IDC said in a joint statement.

The study showed that though 77% of business leaders surveyed agreed that AI is instrumental for their organization’s competitiveness, only one-third of organizations in India have embarked on their AI journeys.

“Economies and businesses that have yet to embark on their AI journey run a real risk of missing out on the competitive benefits that are enjoyed by leaders. Businesses must now embrace a new culture, where innovation and continuous learning are core components of the organizational culture. It sets the stage for agility, adaptability and growth,” Srivathsa said.

The study surveyed 1,605 business leaders and 1,585 workers, including 200 business leaders and 202 workers in India. It evaluated six dimensions critical to ensuring the success of a nation’s AI journey.

According to the findings, India needs to build upon its investment, data and strategy to accelerate its AI journey.

“To succeed in the AI race, India needs to substantially improve its readiness. Leaders should make AI a core part of their strategy and develop a learning agility culture. Investment in this transformative technology has to be continuous for the long-term success,” sai Ranganath Sadasiva, director of the enterprise division at IDC.

“There is an urgent need for talents and tools to develop, deploy and monitor AI models, along with the availability of a robust data estate with the adequate governance,” he added.

Microsoft also has been working in order to reduce the skill gap in the country and said that it was organising a five-day workshop called Week of AI that begins on Monday to help developers and organizations build expertise in cloud computing, data sciences, AI and internet of things (IoT).

The company had also launched an AI Business School in France this year to train business leaders in the field.