The pandemic that hit the world a year ago crippling the lives of both individuals as well as organisations, has created a winner — high technology adoption across the globe, with Indian organisations leading such upgrades. According to a global study by PwC India, the highest increase in use of artificial intelligence (AI) during COVID-19 times has been witnessed in India.
The study also showed that 94 percent of the over 200 chief executives in India surveyed said they’ve either adopted or are planning to implement AI in their companies. While the survey for India was conducted between August and September, globally it was conducted among 670 high ranking officials in September-October. The study said India witnessed the highest increase in AI use compared to major economies like Britain, Japan and the US, with over 70 percent of Indian organisations having implemented AI in some functional areas in 2020 as compared to around 62 per cent last year. Also, over 90 per cent companies are implementing or planning to invest in AI solutions to address current business concerns, the survey said.
According to the survey, AI adoption in India was led by the travel and hospitality sector with 89 percent of the surveyed firms doing so, followed by telecom, media & technology firms (86 percent), financial services (82 percent), and 73 percent of healthcare and pharma companies adopting it during the year.
AI is deployed across business functions like customer service, finance and tax, HR, IT and cybersecurity, manufacturing and operations, R&D, risk, legal and compliance, sales and marketing, supply chain and logistics, among others. The survey also shows that optimism with regard to AI in reducing cost and maximising revenue has gone up significantly from 72 percent to 92 percent in India, and 45 percent of organisations have increased the use of AI since the pandemic hit them.
Further, 94 percent of the respondents have either implemented or are planning to implement AI in their organisations, AI is now regarded as a key enabler for organisations to emerge from the present crisis, plan for transformation and making fundamental changes to the operating model for lasting competitive advantage, said Sudipta Ghosh, a partner and leader for data and analytics at PwC India.
To get the best out of AI, businesses need to start viewing it as a necessity rather than a luxury and weave it into the organisational fabric, he added. However, companies also find adopting AI difficult and fail to realise the optimum value from their AI investments. For instance, 37 percent of them find it challenging to identify the right use cases for AI and 28 percent lack high-quality data for use in AI solutions, the survey said.