AI across the business

Most business leaders recognise that AI will be important for their organisation's success in the future. But as the market for sophisticated AI develops, how will it be used and what benefits are there in teams that have already adopted the technology?

The future of business and industry is close collaboration between humans and robots. That has been the refrain of market commentators, especially over the past few months, as sophisticated and democratised business AI looks increasingly capable of handling complex tasks. While human input will be vital for the proper functioning of AI and automated processes, at least in the short term, AI looks set to be one of the central tools of successful organisations in the future.

AI is currently being used, at least in some capacity, in nine out of 10 (89%) of IT teams – the highest usage rate of any business function. Roughly three-quarters of supply chain, product development, HR and finance teams use AI, as do 69% of sales functions. Marketing and advertising use AI the least of any business function (62%), which is perhaps surprising considering its potential for customer insights.

By 2025, however, at least 85% of respondents in every business function expect to be using AI to some degree. About half of IT teams and more than four in 10 (43%) supply chain and manufacturing functions will, by that time, consider AI to be critical to the success of their organisation. 

The varied uses of AI

Different business functions use AI in a variety of ways. Some of the most popular uses of AI are service operation optimisation (24% of operations teams), creation of new AI-based products (20% of product and service development teams) and customer service analytics and customer segmentation, both cited by 19% of marketing and sales functions.

Overall, leaders of various business functions have reported greater revenue increases than cost decreases as a result of AI. Some 70% of risk, and product and service development teams have reported revenue increases thanks to AI. The supply chain management function, meanwhile, experienced the highest savings, with 52% of respondents reporting at least some cost decrease as a result of AI adoption in their team.