2023 AI/ML Report: AI/ML adoption surges despite challenges

By Nirmal Ranganathan, Chief Architect – Data & AI, Rackspace Technology

Men looking at technology


AI/ML Adoption is Surging: Our 2023 Research Report Highlights Barriers and Benefits

Businesses across industries are turning to artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to cost-effectively move quickly, improve product offerings, use the latest tools and technologies, and predict customer behavior.

Our 2023 AI/ML Research Report shows that IT leaders are increasingly assigning higher priority to the technologies as adoption continues to increase —even amid uncertain economic conditions.

AI/ML is increasingly a critical component of any business strategy. According to our 2023 survey of 1,400-plus IT decision-makers, a growing number of organizations – 69% – rank artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) as a high priority for their organizations, an increase of 15 percentage points as compared to the previous year.

Our study polled IT professionals across financial services, manufacturing, retail, hospitality, government, and healthcare industries to help us better understand the dynamics of AI/ML uptake in recent months. Our survey shows that organizations are actively turning to AI/ML to meet their critical business challenges and to remain competitive.

Which single factor is the strongest driver for AI/ML adoption today?

  • 20%      Increased employee efficiency
  • 17%      Increased innovation
  • 16%      Reduced costs 

AI/ML is helping companies work faster and smarter by analyzing data and automating decision processes. Machine learning algorithms can rapidly and accurately predict outcomes, identify patterns and reveal insights. Our research shows that AI/ML is also making many manual tasks, like document processing, less labor-intensive.

Which use cases are gaining the most traction in AI/ML usage?

  • 67%      Intelligent search
  • 60%      Document processing
  • 54%      Customer engagement

Nearly three quarters (73%) of IT leaders we polled expressed a high level of confidence in AI/ML, and 72% believe that there are sufficient checks and balances in place to avoid negative consequences.

The vision and role of AI/ML within an organization is shifting

AI/ML's role and importance in organizations is growing. Some 28% of respondents now state AI/ML will play a critical role in their business going forward, compared to 10% in 2020. Furthermore, 79% of respondents now view AI/ML as highly significant, compared to 53% in 2020.

Organizations are seeing gains from AI/ML, but there’s still so much untapped potential of the technology. Many companies lack the technical know-how, business processes or specific expertise required to implement AI/ML solutions. Often, the requisite data that drives AI/ML isn’t unified or readily accessible.

AI/ML in the enterprise

When it comes to AI/ML in the enterprise, we’ve only begun scratching the surface of its potential. Yet despite increasing adoption and plans to use AI/ML, several barriers to adoption still exist:

AI/ML is smart - but it can’t implement itself. With the right talent and capabilities, organizations can optimize the fuller potential of their technologies. However, the talent gap is the biggest issue facing AI/ML adoption. It’s difficult to hire train and retain skilled employees who can work with the technology and the data to optimize outcomes. When asked to rank their challenges related to AI/ML, 67% of survey respondents cited the shortage of skilled talent as their top obstacle.

Which of the following challenges have you had on your AI/ML journey within your organization so far?

  • 67%      Shortage of skilled talent
  • 61%      Algorithm/model failure
  • 54%      Lack of technological infrastructure to support

The good news is that organizations are proactively addressing the skills gap. In fact, 82% of respondents said they have made efforts to recruit employees with AI/ML skills in the past 12 months, while 86% of respondents have grown their AI/ML workforce over the same period.

Empower your business

The talent gap poses a real challenge for companies that want to move forward in the market and derive value from AI/ML. This is where Rackspace Technology® can help. We know that every organization’s data needs are different, whether you need to modernize data infrastructure with data lakes, unlock transformative new capabilities by developing custom AI/ML algorithms for data, or create enterprise-grade cloud deployment pipelines for AI/ML operations. With a comprehensive portfolio of data engineering and AI/ML capabilities, our AI development team will help you use your data to make smart decisions, improve collaboration, transform customer experiences and drive better outcomes.

Let’s talk

We invite you to learn more about our deep data engineering and AI/ML capabilities, and how we’re ready to meet you anywhere on the AI/ML path — with practical and results-driven solutions.  

Ready to discuss AI/ML solutions for data engineering?