According to a newly released survey by Algorithmia, major companies are planning to increase their spending on artificial intelligence and machine learning with the ongoing pandemic. Also, many IT leaders believe that these initiatives should have been a priority for them all along.
The company said that its 2020 Enterprise AI/ML Trends survey was completed in August by over 100 IT directors who have been involved with these initiatives. These directors have worked in companies with at least $1 billion in annual sales and 5,000 or more employees.
The past six-plus months have not disrupted their plans for IT organizations. In fact, nearly 42% of IT leaders said that at least half of all their AI/ML projects were impacted by staffing, priority, or funding due to the COVID-19 pandemic, responding to Algorithmia’s survey.
This simply means that their focus may have shifted from these projects, Algorithmia said. For example, 54% of IT leaders said that prior to the pandemic; their projects were focused on consumer insight and financial analysis.
But, after the pandemic, according to the survey, the same IT leaders said these projects will be focused on customer experience (58%) and cost optimization (59%).
Data suggests that IT might cut costs during tough times but in the long-run, they will prioritize new technologies for enhanced automation, the company said.
Regardless, Algorithmia’s survey said they agree that AI/ML projects will be a priority. Their 65% of respondents said that such projects their top priority list before the pandemic, while 33% said these applications are now higher on their list.
The data from the survey also showed that IT leaders are planning to spend more on AI/ML due to the increase in demand from the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the lack of AI/ML skilled staff was the primary challenge for IT leaders, according to 59% of respondents. The most important job skills after the pandemic are going to be security (69%), systems integration (62%), and data management (64%).
In a statement, Diego Oppenheimer, CEO of Algorithmia, said “When we come through the pandemic, the companies that will emerge the strongest will be those that invested in tools, people, and processes that enable them to scale delivery of AI and ML-based applications to production.”
“We believe investments in AI/ML operations now will pay off for companies sooner than later. Despite the fact that we’re still dealing with the pandemic, CIOs should be encouraged by the results of our survey.”