Among Enterprise Technologies, AI Showing Early Success

March, 2018

Early adopters of artificial intelligence (AI) are finding positive return on investment and cost certainty, according to the Computer Economics Technology Trends 2018 study. AI, along with the Internet of Things, is the newest technology to be added to the study, and it appears that despite current low adoption and investment rates, AI will have a growing role in business in the years to come.

The study polled IT organizations worldwide on their experience with 14 leading technologies. According to figure 60 from the full study, AI ranked at the bottom for both adoption and investment. But it was in the top third for ROI, meaning that a large number of organizations were able to see a positive return on their investment within 18 months of deployment. It was also in the top third for success in total cost of ownership, meaning that a large number of companies were able to deploy AI for less than or equal to the amount they budgeted.

“Strangely, despite the ROI success, AI has a low satisfaction rate,” said David Wagner, vice president for research at Computer Economics, an IT research firm based in Irvine, Calif. “This might have to do with the perception that in the end AI and the automation it permits might cost workers their jobs. However, currently, most AI deployments don’t cost jobs but free the worker from routine and boring tasks to focus on higher value functions.”

TechTrends fig 60WEB - Among Enterprise Technologies, AI Showing Early Success

Artificial intelligence was also included in a new section of the survey focused on 12 technologies on the near horizon. In addition to AI, these are blockchain, digital currencies, robotic process automation (RPA), chatbots, artificial intelligence, drones, autonomous vehicles, virtual reality, augmented reality, quantum computing, IPv6, and biometrics authentication. The study evaluates whether IT decision makers are familiar with these, whether they see a potential use for them, and whether they have already implemented them or have them installed.  

This new section is designed to help IT leaders understand the technologies that need to be on their radar before they are deployed in enough numbers to merit full inclusion in our Tech Trends survey. The survey revealed that despite AI’s current low adoption, three quarters of respondents have either already implemented the technology, are implementing it, or see a future use for it in their organizations. It appears AI will only grow in the coming years.

The full study is designed to give business leaders insight into the staying power of 14 technologies that are currently top of mind for many companies. It provides a glimpse into how quickly an emerging technology is being adopted, how deeply more-established technologies are penetrating the market, and how positive the customer experience is with each technology. The study also delves into the specific types of solutions under consideration.

By understanding the adoption trends, investment activity, and customer experience, business leaders are in a better position to assess the potential risks and rewards of investing in each of these technology initiatives. They also can gain insight into just how aggressively competitors and peers are investing in these initiatives.

Sample pages from the full study are available for free download.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our study, Technology Trends 2018. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).