Increasing influence of artificial intelligence-based solutions across verticals is expected to push companies to spend 8-11 per cent more over the next 18 months on this new-age technology, a report by global chip maker Intel said today. The Telecommunications, Media, and Technology (TMT) vertical is a major consumer of the AI technology with current adoption rate of 37.5 per cent, it said. However, sectors like retail, services and healthcare are expected to lead in 2019, with an expected adoption rate of 74 per cent over the next 18 months, said the report, based on the survey conducted by research firm IDC India. “IT budget spend on AI is likely to increase between 8-11 per cent, led by TMT and manufacturing sectors,” it said. The study surveyed 194 large Indian organisations across sectors to gauge the appetite towards the adoption of AI. “Like their global counterparts, Indian enterprises too, are looking at leveraging technologies like AI and IoT to increase business efficiency and employee productivity. “About 64 per cent respondents believe that this technology can empower them in revenue augmentation through better targeting of offers and improved sales processes,” Intel India Managing Director (Sales and Marketing Group) Prakash Mallya told reporters here.
While benefits of AI are clear, 76 per cent companies believe they will face a shortage of skilled personnel to harness the power of AI, he added. Intel claims to power 97 per cent of data centre servers running AI workloads worldwide. Intel is betting on five key areas — AI, Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, Augmented/Virtual Reality and connected vehicles — to drive growth, Mallya said. The company has been strategically investing in the development of the ecosystem in India to promote innovative application of AI, he said, adding that it has a “huge opportunity to lead the next generation of computing transformations in India”.
Earlier this year, Intel India had said that it will train 15,000 people in India in the area of AI by April next year. According to the report, nearly 1 in 5 organisations surveyed (22.2 per cent) has implemented AI technology in some way in the recent past. This number is expected to increase considerably by mid-2019 with nearly 7 in 10 firms (68.6 per cent) anticipated to deploy it. Businesses, particularly in retail (including e-commerce) and telecom are exploring mechanisms to boost their revenue by using AI for better targeting of offers and improved sales processes, it said, adding that manufacturing and retail sectors are looking at refining their supply chain networks using AI.
Besides, financial services organisations are more focused on improving regulatory compliance and fraud reduction from AI implementation, while retail and automotive establishments are looking at improving consistency in the way decisions are made, the report said. However, concerns around adoption of AI continue with high costs, acute shortage of skilled professionals, unclear return on investment and cyber security are emerging as the key hindrances. Regulatory compliance and lack of quality data are seen as other important challenges.