If you’ve ever attended a Gartner event, such as the IT Symposium/Xpo which recently wrapped up in Cape Town, then you’ll know the research firm has been espousing the crucial tole that AI will play in business in the coming decade and beyond.

AI adoption is on the rise, with 49 percent of CIOs noting to Gartner that they plan to or will have an AI project underway in 2019 or by 2020.

While that nearly 50 percent vote of confidence is good to see, there are still some who question the potential for the technology from a business impact perspective.

To that end Gartner has surveyed several hundred CIOs to find out what some of those barriers are, and in particular highlighted three primary barriers to AI adoption.

Presenting the findings is Brian Manusama, senior director analyst at the firm.

The first barrier is skills, with business and IT leaders acknowledging that AI will change the skills needed to accomplish AI jobs, according to Manusama.

Backing this up is the recent Gartner Research Circle survey, where 56 percent of respondents noted that acquiring new skills will be required to handle both existing and newly created jobs.

The next barrier is the fear of the unknown, with 42 percent of respondents stating that they are unsure of the benefits and use cases in the workplace that AI affords. Quantifying the benefits of AI projects poses a major challenge for business and IT leader, Manusama stresses.

“While some benefits could be well-defined values, such as revenue increase or time saved, others, such as customer experience, are difficult to define precisely or to measure accurately,” he adds.

To that end Gartner forecasts that by 2024, 50 percent of AI investments will be quantified and linked to specific key performance indicators to measure the return on investment.

The third barrier is data quality derived from AI. Successful AI initiatives depend on a large volume of data from which organisations can draw information about the best response to a situation, Manusama points out.

“Organisations are aware that without sufficient data – or if the situation encountered does not match past data – AI falters. Others know that the more complex the situation, the more likely the situation will not match the AI’s existing data, leading to AI failures,” he says.

Despite these barriers Manusama and Gartner are optimistic of the value that AI will hold, especially if enough organisations deploy it effectively.

“Overall, AI will not eliminate jobs. By 2020, AI will become a net-positive job motivator, eliminating 1.8 million jobs while creating 2.3 million jobs,” he concludes.

[Image – Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash]