By 2021, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will more than double the rate of innovation at organizations (x2.2 times) and employee productivity (x2.3 times) in India, according to the country’s business leaders.
The study by Microsoft and IDC Asia/Pacific – ‘Future Ready Business: Assessing Asia Pacific’s Growth Potential Through AI – surveyed 200 business leaders and 202 workers in India.
The findings were released by Rohini Srivathsa, National Technology Officer, Microsoft India and Ranganath Sadasiva, Director, Enterprise, IDC, in the presence of Girish Nayak, Chief – Service, Operations & Technology, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd.
The survey – conducted with 1,560 business decision makers in mid and large-sized organizations across 15 economies in the region – highlights that while 77% of business leaders polled agreed that AI is instrumental for their organization’s competitiveness, only one-third of organizations in India have embarked on their AI journeys. Those companies that have adopted AI expect it to increase their competitiveness by 2.3 times in 2021.
“Today, every company is a software company, and increasingly, every interaction is digital. To be successful in this new world, organizations need to be a fast adopter of best-in-class technology; and in addition to that, they need to build their own unique digital capabilities,” said Dr. Rohini Srivathsa, National Technology Officer, Microsoft India. “Economies and businesses that have yet to embark on their AI journey run a real risk of missing out on the competitive benefits that are enjoyed by leaders. Businesses must now embrace a new culture, where innovation and continuous learning are core components of the organizational culture. It sets the stage for agility, adaptability and growth,” she added.
Last year, organizations that have adopted AI saw tangible improvements in those areas in the range of 8% to 22%. They forecast further improvements of at least 2.1 times in the three-year horizon, with the biggest jump expected in higher margins, and higher competitiveness.
Showcasing a new solution that deploys AI to process vehicle insurance claims and renew policies more efficiently, Girish Nayak, Chief – Service, Operations & Technology, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd – one of India’s leaders in implementing AI in the BFSI space – added, “We recognized the potential of AI in providing high quality car damage evaluation services. With data being generated at an exponential level, this technology will help us derive insights to inspect and process claims with utmost efficiency. Using Microsoft’s AI expertise is helping us bring about this transformation, allowing us to meet customer demands quicker without compromising on service excellence.”
The study evaluated six dimensions critical to ensuring the success of a nation’s AI journey. According to the findings, India needs to build upon its investment, data, and strategy in order to accelerate its AI journey. The study also underlines the need for cultural changes and skilling and reskilling workforces to make AI work for the country. “To succeed in the AI race, India needs to substantially improve its readiness. Leaders should make AI a core part of their strategy and develop a learning agility culture. Investment in this transformative technology has to be continuous for the long-term success. There is an urgent need for talents and tools to develop, deploy and monitor AI models, along with the availability of a robust data estate with the adequate governance,” according to Ranganath Sadasiva, Director, Enterprise, IDC.
Microsoft Week of AI
In order to help bridge the skill gap, Microsoft has rolled out the Week of AI, a specially curated five-day workshop series to help developers and organizations build expertise in cloud computing, data sciences, AI and IoT. Spread over five days these free of cost sessions will be addressed by data scientists and AI experts from companies such as Flipkart, Reliance Jio, and InMobi that are leading the way in transforming their businesses and the industry with technology.
“The jobs of today will not be the jobs of tomorrow, and we have already seen demand for software engineering roles expand rapidly beyond just the tech sector. Microsoft believes that development of talent pipelines is vital for economic growth and this initiative is part of the company’s commitment to upskilling India for an AI ready future,” said Dr. Srivathsa. To meet the AI skills required by business leaders, Microsoft had announced the launch of its AI Business School earlier this year.