61% of Tech Leaders Can’t Prove Their AI Ventures Are Paying Off

In this post:

  • CIOs are rapidly investing in AI, with 96% planning to increase spending within a year.
  • However, 61% of them struggle to prove the financial benefits of their AI ventures.
  • They said speed, security, and lack of internal readiness are some of the challenges limiting their ability to scale AI.

Many IT leaders expect to increase their AI investments but cannot prove yet that the money spent on the technology is actually worthwhile. 

CIOs See AI as an “Urgent Priority”

Tech giant Lenovo recently surveyed 750 chief information officers across 10 global markets to understand their views on AI for its third annual global CIO report. The findings published Wednesday showed that AI is at the top of the discussions among the technology chiefs.

Around 51% feel AI is an “urgent priority to address,” and up to 96% expect to increase their investment over the next 12 months. They said the interest in AI among their organizations is so high that it’s pulling resources and attention away from other key IT areas, such as sustainability (38%) and employee compensation (38%).

However, most of them cannot yet prove the benefits of such ventures. 

“Sixty-one percent of CIOs said they find it very or extremely challenging to demonstrate return on investment (ROI) with tech investments,” the report reads. 

Source: Bloomberg

Even 42% of the CIOs who invest in the technology don’t expect to see positive ROI from the venture for at least two to three years. This begs the question of what propels CIOs to invest in AI technology.

Are CIOs Investing in AI Due to Pressure?

Following the report, it seems that the decision is driven by a mix of optimism about AI and pressure on CIOs to drive business impact. 

“After years of IT expanding into non-traditional responsibilities, we’re now seeing how AI is forcing CIOs back to their core mandate, said Lenovo’s exec, Ken Wong. “This is driven by the clear promise of AI adoption combined with the pressure that IT leaders face to prove the value of these investments and deliver measurable business outcomes.”

Source: Bloomberg

The CIOs noted that speed to adoption and security are the largest barriers to scaling AI in businesses. Some also said their organizations are not AI-ready in areas like corporate policy / ethical use, IT technical skills, etc., which affects their ability to scale much faster. 

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