‘Commitment to Artificial Intelligence Will Boost Revenue, Employment by 2022’

Emma Okonji

A recent report conducted by Accenture, a global professional services company, has exposed the business risks that organisations will likely face, should their chief executives fail to adopt the Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven growth and also fail to help employees work with intelligent technologies.

The report, which was released early this week, however painted a picture, which shows that with stronger commitment to AI technology, organisations are likely going to have revenue increase by 38 per cent and a boost in employment by 10 per cent by 2022.

The report predicted that major growth opportunities would elude organisations globally, unless their chief executives take immediate steps to pivot their workforces and equip their people to work with intelligent technologies

The Accenture strategy report, titled ‘Reworking the Revolution: Are You Ready to Compete As Intelligent Technology Meets Human Ingenuity to Create the Future Workforce?’, estimates that if businesses invest in AI and human-machine collaboration at the same rate as top performing companies, they could boost revenues by 38 per cent by 2022 and raise employment levels by 10 per cent.

Collectively, this would lift profits by $4.8trillion globally over the same period. For the average S&P500 company, this equates to $7.5 billion of revenues and a $880 million lift to profitability.

Both leaders and workers are optimistic about the potential of AI on business results and on work experiences, according to the study.
About 72 per cent of the 1,200 senior executives surveyed, said intelligent technology would be critical to their organisation’s market differentiation and 61 per cent thinks the share of roles requiring collaboration with AI will rise in the next three years. More than two thirds, which is about 69 per cent of the 14,000 workers surveyed said it is important to develop skills to work with intelligent machines.

Yet, a disconnect between workers’ embrace of AI and their employers’ efforts to prepare workers, puts potential growth at risk. While a majority 54 per cent of business leaders said that human-machine collaboration was important to their strategic priorities, only three per cent said their organisation plans to significantly increase its investment in reskilling their workers in the next three years.
Analysing the report, the Group Chief Executive, Accenture Strategy, Mark Knickrehm, said: “To achieve higher rates of growth in the age of AI, companies need to invest more in equipping their people to work with machines in new ways.”

“Increasingly, businesses will be judged on their commitment to what we call Applied Intelligence – the ability to rapidly implement intelligent technology and human ingenuity across all parts of their core business to secure this growth,” Knickrehm said.
The research suggests that there is a strong foundation on which to boost AI skills investment. About 63 per cent of senior executives think that their company will create net job gains in the next three years through AI. Meanwhile, the majority of workers, about 62 per cent, believe AI will have a positive impact on their work.

The report shows how pioneers are using human-machine collaboration not just to improve efficiencies, but to also drive growth through new customer experiences.

The Chief Leadership and Human Resources Officer at Accenture, Ellyn Shook, said: “Business leaders must take immediate steps to pivot their workforce to enter an entirely new world where human ingenuity meets intelligent technology to unlock new forms of growth.
“Workers are impatient to collaborate with AI, giving leaders the opportunity to demonstrate true Applied Intelligence within their organisation.”

To help leaders shape the future workforce in the age of AI, Accenture recommended that organisations re-imagine work by
reconfiguring work from the bottom up. Assess tasks, not jobs and then allocate tasks to machines and people, balancing the need to automate work and to elevate people’s capabilities.

It also recommended that organisations pivot their workforce to areas that unlock new forms of value, as well as measure the workforce’s level of skills and willingness to learn to work with AI.


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