Artificial intelligence is giving many companies an advantage over their competitors.
While most companies don’t see AI as of critical strategic importance today, many believe it will be critical two years from now.
Those are among the findings in the second annual Deloitte study comprising a survey of 1,100 technology and business executives from U.S.-based companies in 10 industries.
Relative to competitors, the adoption of artificial intelligence has allowed most (64%) companies to stay ahead, to varying degree, by leapfrogging ahead (9%), widening a lead (28%) or edging slightly ahead (27%).
Some (20%) companies say AI allows their business to stay on par and 16% say it enables them to catch up with competitors.
The majority (82%) of companies said they have gained a financial return from their AI investments, with the median return being 17%.
One of the most significant differences from the study a year earlier is that 51% of businesses last year found enhancing current products to be a top benefit, which decreased to 44% this year.
Not all is smooth sailing for jumping on the AI bandwagon. The top obstacle for early adopters is the challenge of implementation and the top-rated concern is cybersecurity vulnerabilities of AI, according to the study.
On the positive viewpoint side, 72% of executives said they believe that AI will increase job satisfaction and 78% said AI-based augmentation of workers will fuel new ways of working.
While artificial intelligence is hardly new, it’s now starting to be deployed and tested in a large enough scale for business to learn what it can (and can’t) do today.