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Deloitte AI Institute Uncovers Key Driving Forces in an AI-fueled Organization

Businesses are in a tearing hurry to become AI-fueled organizations. However, only a handful of these actually manages to truly become one among many in the race.  In a recent report on what makes AI-fueled organizations successful, Deloitte AI Institute has uncovered startling facts related to the association between strong corporate leadership, AI strategy executions, and financial budgeting in AI and machine learning projects.

For example, an enterprise-wide AI strategy and leadership that communicate a bold vision are nearly 1.7 times more likely to achieve high outcomes.

Strategy Leading Practices That Help You Succeed as an AI-Fueled Organization

AI-fueled organizations view AI as a key element of business differentiation and success, and they set an enterprise-wide strategy that is championed from the top.

  • Transformers were three times more likely to have an enterprise-wide strategy in place, and twice as likely as Starters to report a differentiated AI approach.
  • However, only 40% of survey respondents completely agreed that their company has an enterprise-wide AI strategy in place, leaving room for improvement.
  • While 66% of respondents view AI as critical to success, only 38% believe their use of AI differentiates them from competitors.

Deloitte AI Institute’s fourth edition of the “State of AI in the Enterprise” survey, conducted between March and May 2021, explores the deeper transformations happening inside organizations that are using AI to drive value in order to understand what the most “AI-fueled organizations” are doing to drive success. The report finds that AI-fueled organizations leverage data as an asset to deploy and scale AI systematically across all types of core business processes in a human-centered way.

Top Salesforce Interviews: AiThority Interview with Julian Armington, Senior Director Product Marketing at Salesforce

At the time of this announcement, Nitin Mittal, Deloitte AI co-leader, and principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP said – “Becoming an AI-fueled organization is to understand that the transformation process is never complete, but rather a journey of continuous learning and improvement.”

An organization’s AI maturity can be profiled based on the number of applications deployed and application effectiveness

By surveying 2,875 executives from 11 countries across the Americas, Europe, and Asia, the report identifies the leading practices that were aligned with the marketplace leaders across industries. The findings in the report aim to help companies overcome challenges to becoming an AI-fueled organization, no matter what stage of AI transformation they are in, and especially to help those who are earlier in their transformation.

Profiles in AI maturity

In order to assess organizations’ AI maturity, Deloitte grouped responding organizations into four profiles based on how many types of AI applications they have deployed full-scale and the number of outcomes achieved to a high degree.

  • Twenty-eight percent (28%) of survey respondents are “Transformers,” who report high outcomes and a high number of AI deployments. This group has identified and largely adopted leading practices associated with the strongest AI outcomes.
  • Twenty-six percent (26%) of respondents are “Pathseekers,” reporting high outcomes, but a low number of deployments. Pathseekers have adopted capabilities and behaviors that are leading to success, but on fewer initiatives and they have not scaled to the same degree as Transformers.
  • “Underachievers” were 17% of respondents, reporting low outcomes and a high number of deployments. While these organizations have a significant amount of AI deployment activity, they haven’t adopted enough leading practices to help them effectively achieve meaningful outcomes.
  • “Starters” — 29% of survey respondents — reported low outcomes and a low number of deployments. These organizations have gotten a late start in building AI capabilities and are the least likely to demonstrate leading practice behaviors.

Recommended: AiThority Interview with Dinesh Nirmal, General Manager at IBM Automation

“By embracing AI strategically and challenging orthodoxies, organizations can define a roadmap for adoption, quality delivery and scale to create or unlock value faster than ever before.”
— Irfan Saif, Deloitte AI co-leader, and principal, Deloitte & Touche LLP

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“The risks associated with AI remain top of mind for executives. We found that high-achieving organizations report being more prepared to manage risks associated with AI and confident that they can deploy AI initiatives in a trustworthy way.”
— Beena Ammanath, executive director of the Deloitte AI Institute, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

Leading practices drive AI success

In analyzing the four organizational profiles, the report identified the behaviors most associated with strong outcomes, and leading practices in the following categories: strategy, operations, culture and change management, and ecosystems.

Operations leading practice

AI-fueled organizations establish new operating models and processes that drive sustained quality, innovation, and value creation.

  • Organizations that have undergone significant changes to workflows or added new roles are almost 1.5 times more likely to achieve outcomes to a high degree.
  • Organizations that document and enforce MLOps processes are twice as likely to achieve their goals; nearly two times more likely to report being extremely prepared for risks associated with AI; and nearly two times more confident that they can deploy AI initiatives in a trustworthy way.
  • Survey results exposed a disconnect, however, as only about one-third of respondents report that they have adopted leading operational practices for AI.

Culture and Change Management Leading Practice Boost AI ML Adoption

AI-fueled organizations nurture a trusting, agile, data-fluent culture and invest in change management to support new ways of working.

  • Organizations that invest in change management to a high degree are 1.6 times more likely to report that AI initiatives exceed expectations and over 1.5 times more likely to achieve their desired goals.
  • However, most organizations underinvest this area. Only 37% of survey respondents reported significant investment in change management, incentives, or training activities to help their people integrate new technology into their work, often resulting in a slower, less successful transformation.

Ecosystems leading practice

AI-fueled organizations orchestrate dynamic ecosystems that build and protect competitive differentiation.

  • Eighty-three percent (83%) of the highest achieving organizations (Transformers and Pathfinders) create a diverse ecosystem of partnerships to execute their AI strategy.
  • Organizations with diverse ecosystems are significantly more likely to have a transformative vision for AI, enterprise-wide AI strategies, and use AI as a strategic differentiator.

The Deloitte AI Institute supports the positive growth and development of AI through engaged conversations and innovative research. It also focuses on building ecosystem relationships that help advance human-machine collaboration in the “Age of With,” a world where humans work side-by-side with machines.

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