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Artificial Intelligence Gains Mindshare and Wallet in the Enterprise

Artificial Intelligence

Big data and artificial intelligence (AI) are uttered barely a breath apart these days. AI, say industry gurus, will take a company’s data and turn it into a strategic advantage … smarter being the operative word.

Some companies are already thinking about where AI fits into their business and so should channel firms. Worldwide spending on cognitive and AI systems is forecast to reach $12.5 billion this year, according to IDC, with the largest area of spending in 2017, $4.5 billion, in cognitive applications. AI spending is expected to reach $46 billion by 2020. Cognitive/AI use cases that will see the greatest levels of investment this year are quality management investigation and recommendation systems; diagnosis and treatment systems; automated customer service agents; automated threat intelligence and prevention systems; and fraud analysis and investigation, per IDC.

“Artificial Intelligence in the Enterprise,” a report released today by Cylance and based on a survey conducted by Market Cube for the AI-based advanced threat protection security vendor, found that AI in the enterprise is moving from talk to action with businesses investing in AI to make better use of the data they’re gathering.

Market Cube surveyed 650 IT decision-makers at large enterprises working across industries in the U.S., U.K., Germany and France.

The report authors noted five key findings:

  1. For security teams, AI is moving the needle, meaning that 77 percent of companies using AI-powered tools reported better prevention after the use of these tools, while 81 percent said that AI was detecting threats faster than their security teams were able to.
  2. AI investment is strong. Sixty percent of survey takers currently invest in AI with the remaining 40 percent expecting to invest in AI tools in the next two years.
  3. AI is viewed as a competitive advantage for their IT departments by 87 percent of respondents; 83 percent reported making AI investments with the specific goal of gaining advantage over their competitors.
  4. Marketing hype aside, 86 percent reported that AI has lived up to its promises. Sixty-four percent of IT decision makers expect to see ROI from their AI investments in two years. As for the hype: 76 percent of respondents said it makes assessing AT technology difficult.
  5. The survey also found a mixed bag of sentiments around AI and jobs. Sixty-eight percent of IT decision-makers expect AI to make some jobs obsolete, with 74 percent concerned that AI technology will replace human jobs. At the same time 93 percent expect AI to create new job opportunities, and 80 percent believe AI will result in new hires or the retraining of existing employees.

Taking a deeper dive into the research results, channel partners should find it interesting that IT departments are the top users of AI technology today at 75 percent, followed by security teams (48 percent) and operations (39 percent), with customer service, manufacturing/logistics, marketing, finance, sales and HR following.

As is the case with emerging IoT opportunities, when it comes to AI, selling to IT is familiar turf and a more comfortable sales play, so channel partner should go for it, although they will need education on AI, its use cases and how to build AI into their practices.


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