• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
businessday logo


AI adoption can unlock value for African CEOs – study

Western Digital introduces AI data cycle framework to empower customers

African chief executive officers (CEOs) have identified technology factors as the most impactful force that could significantly impact their respective Artificial intelligence (AI) adoption journey.

According to a recent global report by IBM, CEO decision-making in the age of AI, Act with Intention, found that African CEOs expect to realize significant value from advanced forms of AI and analytics such as cloud computing, automation, generative AI, deep learning, machine learning, advanced analytics, and more.

“Over half (53 percent) of African CEOs identify technology factors as the most impactful force that could significantly impact their respective AI adoption journeys.”

“Also, regional CEOs cite market factors (51 percent), regulatory factors (49 percent), and workforce and skills (33 percent) as leading external factors that are having the most significant impact on their organisations,” it said.

However, African organisations face influential external factors hindering their AI readiness over the next three years.

Read also: The legal impact of artificial intelligence on clinical genomics and healthcare

“These CEOs face several data challenges, with nearly half of the respondents citing unclear data calculation and reporting across suppliers and partners (48 percent) and within their organisations (47 percent) as the most critical risks or barriers,” the survey stated,

Apart from AI being a significant technology driver, the survey also revealed that over half (54 percent) of African CEOs identify customer experience as their highest business priority.

They also recognize productivity or profitability as key to achieving their business goals, ranking it their second highest priority (46 percent). However, they continue to face key barriers as they race to modernize and adopt new technologies like generative AI.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution has presented Africa with an opportunity to leapfrog various stages of economic development. Consequently, African organizations are leveraging generative AI and emerging innovation models to accelerate innovation, enhance customer experiences, productivity and profitability, and environmental sustainability, to name a few,” said Julia Carvalho, General Manager of IBM Africa Growth Markets.

“However, it’s critical that CEOs in Africa establish and implement clear and consistent standards as it concerns the utilization of AI across all areas of strategic focus, as it will determine the level of investment and, ultimately, an organization’s success in a rapidly advancing digital economy,” Carvalho said.