98% see benefits, but readiness and trust pose challenges
Almost all (98%) chief executive officers express a strong belief in the immediate advantages of implementing AI and machine learning (ML) within their organisations, all while keeping a close eye on the expected impact of this technology on the global business landscape.
These insights emerge from the latest global survey conducted by Workday, involving 2,355 business leaders holding positions such as CEO, chief information officer, chief human resources officer, and chief financial officer.
The report reveals that 47% of business leaders anticipate that AI and ML will significantly enhance human capabilities, with 45% of CEOs even believing they will contribute to building a more equitable and diverse workforce. Jim Stratton, Chief Technology Officer at Workday, commented on this optimism, stating, “Despite some uncertainty, leaders are optimistic that AI and ML will enhance their workforce and drive productivity.”
In fact, the report highlights the top three advantages of AI and ML for CEOs:
- Increased productivity (39%)
- Data-driven decision-making (37%)
- Improved collaboration (35%)
For HR leaders, the anticipated benefits are as follows:
- Increased productivity (34%)
- Improved collaboration (33%)
- Data-driven decision-making (29%)
- Increased revenue and profits (29%)
These findings coincide with the belief held by 71% of leaders that the global business landscape will undergo significant changes due to AI and ML within the next three years, and 64% are confident that their organisations will experience the impact.
However, amidst this optimism, a noteworthy 49% of CEOs express concerns about their organisations’ readiness to embrace this technology, primarily due to a lack of tools, skills, and knowledge necessary for integration. Business leaders also share apprehensions about their staff’s preparedness.
Approximately 32% of HR leaders and 30% of finance leaders worry that their teams lack the technical skills required to effectively work with AI and ML.
Beyond preparedness, trust is another significant hurdle. This issue is acknowledged by 43% of the surveyed business leaders. The primary risks associated with leveraging AI and ML include:
- Security and privacy concerns (62%)
- Potential errors (61%)
- Bias in decision-making (56%)
- Lack of transparency in AI/ML systems (51%)
For CEOs, the greatest risk in integrating AI and ML revolves around the potential errors that may arise.
Jim Stratton emphasises the paramount importance of trust in AI and ML adoption. He notes, “Building trust requires the right data foundation and commitment to governance. By implementing trustworthy solutions that prioritise data quality and transparency, companies can fully harness the benefits of AI and ML across their organisation.”