CIOs Say Data Management is Critical for Successful AI Adoption in New Global Research Report


A new survey report from MIT Technology Review Insights highlights AI and data management as key pillars of business success, but found that the majority of survey respondents cited data mismanagement as a critical factor that could jeopardize their organization’s future AI success.

The report “CIO vision 2025: Bridging the gap between BI and AI” was produced in May and June 2022 in collaboration with Databricks, the pioneer of the Lakehouse architecture. The report’s findings are based on a survey of 600 global CIOs, CDOs and CTOs across 14 industries and interviews with C-level executives from top companies to understand how executives discuss data management challenges and realizing business value during their work thinking about unleashing the power of AI in their businesses.

Companies represented in this study include: Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Cummins, CNH Industrial, Walgreens Boots Alliance, S&P Global, Marks & Spencer, Tokio Marine, Virgin Australia and Freshworks.

The results are as follows:

  • Well over half of executives expect the use of AI to be widespread or critical in business functions by 2025. From today’s mostly limited use of AI across the organization, the executives surveyed plan to significantly expand use cases across all core functions over the next three years. More than half expect AI use to be widespread or critical in their IT, finance, product development, marketing, sales and other functions by 2025. Around 94% of those surveyed state that they are already using AI in their industry today.
  • 72% of C-level respondents emphasize that data management issues will jeopardize future AI performance. The majority of companies surveyed will invest in unifying their analytics and AI data platform over the next three years to drive AI adoption. Over two-thirds of respondents (68%) — and nearly all executives (99%) — say it is critical to the success of their enterprise data strategy.
  • 78% of executives surveyed say successfully scaling AI is a top priority for data strategy. The data and AI strategies of the companies surveyed are closely interlinked. Over three-quarters (78%) of executives surveyed say scaling AI and machine learning use cases to create business value is the top priority for their enterprise data strategy over the next three years.
  • AI investments will be strongest in financial services. Of the 14 industries in the survey, AI leaders were most numerous among retail/consumer goods and automotive/manufacturing companies. However, financial services companies are expected to see the highest investment growth in data management and infrastructure.
  • Executives see multi-cloud and open standards as an integral part of AI advancement. Most survey respondents (72%) appreciate the flexibility that a multi-cloud approach offers to AI development. CIOs interviewed for the study emphasize the importance of open architecture standards in supporting multi-cloud and the importance of both in advancing AI development.

“Data issues are most likely the reason companies are not meeting their AI goals, said more than two-thirds of the technology leaders we surveyed,” said Francesca Fanshawe, editor of the report. “Improving data processing speed, governance, data quality, and model adequacy are key data enablers to ensure AI can scale.”

“These insights from global CIOs align with what we’re hearing in the field. AI-enabled data is no longer nice to have — it’s critical to solving real-world problems and driving business outcomes,” said Chris D’Agostino, Global Field CTO at Databricks. “An open and unified platform like Databricks Lakehouse enables organizations to put their data into action, and we are committed to continuous innovation that enables business leaders to successfully deploy and scale mission-critical AI projects.”

“As our customers tell us, AI is only as ‘good’ as the data architecture that underlies it,” said Robin Sutara, Field CTO, EMEA at Databricks. “Creating a data culture where people, process and technology serve as the foundation for scaling AI-enabled data is critical to growth. An open and unified platform like Databricks Lakehouse enables organizations to put their data into action, and we are committed to continuous innovation that enables business leaders to successfully deploy and scale mission-critical AI projects.”

To download the report, click here.

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