Why local partners need to brush up on their AI skills
- 02 May, 2018 16:29
The opportunities for partners in the Asia Pacific region to tap into artificial intelligence projects for local enterprises is set to surge, according to new research by data and storage technology vendor Seagate.
Seagate Technology’s Data Pulse: Maximising the Potential of AI study examined the readiness levels of AI adoption and implementation in business segments across key markets in APAC.
It was informed by 600 respondents comprising senior IT professionals in Australia, China, India, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, with each market claiming 100 respondents across multiple industries.
The study also looked at the opportunities and challenges faced by organisations in the region when looking to incorporate AI applications.
The study found that 96 per cent of senior IT professionals surveyed across the APAC region believed AI applications will drive productivity and business performance.
At the same time, the research revealed that 89 per cent of organisations plan to implement AI technologies within the next 12 months in several areas within the enterprise, including IT, supply chain logistics, product innovation, finance and customer support.
In Singapore, 91 per cent respondents said they are planning to use or adopt more AI solutions in the next 12 months. In Australia, the figure was slightly lower, with 86 per cent planning to use or adopt such technology in the coming year.
Regardless, 92 per cent of respondents in Australia believed investments should be made to understand the value of AI. At the same time, 95 per cent of respondents in Singapore agreed that they could do more if they had the right AI talent.
While the relatively small sample size captured in Seagate’s research makes it tricky to properly determine whether the findings are actually closely representative of the broader market, the findings suggest that IT partners with AI prowess will become increasingly sought after by enterprises wanting to take on the technology.
Indeed, two-thirds of respondents to the study indicated they struggled to know where to start when it came to implementing AI technology.
Moreover, Seagate’s research suggests that the vast majority of enterprises are eyeing up other technology to underpin AI adoption, with 95 per cent of respondents believing that further investments in their IT infrastructure are required to enable them to support their use of AI.
“Analysts, leading technology companies and thought leaders alike are discussing that companies that embrace AI will gain a significant competitive edge,” Seagate global sales and sales operations senior vice president B.S. Teh said.
“With its vibrantly growing economies, emerging pools of talent, and highly connected population, there are tremendous opportunities for APAC in reaping the benefits of AI.
“In order to take full advantage of the considerable benefits brought by AI, Asia Pacific organisations should proactively look to develop robust infrastructure and ecosystems to support the needs of data analytics and real-time data processing,” he said.
Gartner has already flagged AI as one of the most important strategic tech trends to watch out for this year, with the industry analyst firm suggesting last year that the ability to use AI to enhance decision making, reinvent business models and ecosystems, and remake the customer experience will drive the payoff for digital initiatives through 2025.
Indeed, Gartner suggested that AI is fast becoming the next major battleground in a wide range of software and service markets – a trend illustrated by the competing AI offerings being served up by some of the world’s leading cloud services vendors like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft.
According to Gartner, over the next few years, virtually every app, application and service will incorporate some level of AI.
Already, AI has proliferated into a range of areas within the enterprise, and local partners are already playing a large part in how AI-driven solutions are rolled out across businesses and the industries in which they operate.
Seagate’s research suggested that, across APAC, 74 per cent of IT organisations had already implemented AI in one or more areas of their business.
Going forward, Gartner reckons that the use cases for AI will expand into new areas which will ultimately become the next breeding grounds of opportunities for AI vendors and their partners alike.
Specifically, cost reduction and the search for new revenue among enterprises are expected to be the next big AI technology market opportunities after customer experience.
"One of the biggest aggregate sources for AI-enhanced products and services acquired by enterprises between 2017 and 2022 will be niche solutions that address one need very well,” Gartner research vice president John-David Lovelock said.
“Business executives will drive investment in these products, sourced from thousands of narrowly focused, specialist suppliers with specific AI-enhanced applications,” he said.
According to Gartner, the global business value set to be derived from AI technology is projected to come to $1.2 billion this year, representing an increase of 70 per cent.