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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Accenture warns CEOs who neglect intelligent technologies

Leading global professional services company, Accenture, has warned Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) who neglect to deploy intelligent technologies, saying they and their businesses risk missing major growth opportunities, reports ITRealms.

According to new research by Accenture released at the ongoing World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos made available to ITRealms, stressing there is stronger commitment that Artificial Intelligence (AI) could boost revenues by 38 per cent, and employment by 10 per cent by 2022.

The Accenture Strategy report, Reworking the Revolution: Are you ready to compete as intelligent technology meets human ingenuity to create the future workforce?estimated that if businesses invest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and human-machine collaboration at the same rate as top performing companies, they could boost revenues by 38 percent by 2022 and raise employment levels by 10 percent.

ITRealms reports that collectively, this would lift profits by US$4.8 trillion globally over the same period, adding that for the average 'Standard & Poor's 500 Index (S&P 500 company), this equates to US$7.5 billion of revenues and a US$880 million lift to profitability. 

In addition, the Accenture Strategy report, revealed that both leaders and workers are optimistic about the potential of AI on business results and on work experiences, according to the study.

Equally, the report showed that 72 per cent of the 1,200 senior executives surveyed said that intelligent technology will be critical to their organization’s market differentiation and 61 per cent think the share of roles requiring collaboration with AI will rise in the next three years. 

While over two thirds, that is 69 per cent of the 14,000 workers surveyed said that it is important to develop skills to work with intelligent machines.

Accenture noted that yet a disconnect between workers’ embrace of AI and their employers’ efforts to prepare workers puts potential growth at risk. While a majority, that is 54 per cent of business leaders say that human-machine collaboration is important to their strategic priorities, only three per cent say their organization plans to significantly increase its investment in reskilling their workers in the next three years.

“To achieve higher rates of growth in the age of AI, companies need to invest more in equipping their people to work with machines in new ways,” said Mark Knickrehm, group chief executive, Accenture Strategy. “Increasingly, businesses will be judged on their commitment to what we call Applied Intelligence - the ability to rapidly implement intelligent technology and human ingenuity across all parts of their core business to secure this growth.”

The research, ITRealms reports, further suggests that there is a strong foundation on which to boost AI skills investment. Sixty-three percent of senior executives think that their company will create net job gains in the next three years through AI. Meanwhile, the majority of workers (62 percent) believe AI will have a positive impact on their work.

The report shows how pioneers are using human-machine collaboration not just to improve efficiencies, but to drive growth through new customer experiences. An online clothing retailer’s AI helps its stylists learn more about customers’ preferences so that they can offer a unique and highly personalized service. And a sports shoe brand set a new bar in customization and speed-to-market by aligning highly skilled tailors and process engineers with intelligent robots to design and manufacture in local markets.

“Business leaders must take immediate steps to pivot their workforce to enter an entirely new world where human ingenuity meets intelligent technology to unlock new forms of growth,” said Ellyn Shook, Chief Leadership and Human Resources Officer, Accenture. 

“Workers are impatient to collaborate with AI, giving leaders the opportunity to demonstrate true Applied Intelligence within their organization.”

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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