AI in the boardroom: It’s time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable
The role and impact of artificial intelligence in business is growing by leaps and bounds. But from the vantage point of the boardroom, it might be considered the least understood revolution having the biggest impact on the enterprise today.
While AI may still be largely unfamiliar territory for some board members, the opportunity it presents—and the rate at which it’s gaining traction—should not be ignored. A recent Deloitte reportsurveyed AI early adopters, with 64% reporting that their investment in AI has allowed them to edge slightly ahead, widen a lead, or
leapfrog ahead of their competitors.Respondents cited some of the top benefits of AI as enhancing current product offerings, optimizing internal operations, and enabling better decision-making, among others.
AI is poised to have a significant impact on how big data is used as a decision-making tool for leaders. In last week’s blog pstwe discussed how AI can help an organization exploit all that chaotic data in ways that are informative and actionable. Seventy-eight percent of the Deloitte survey respondents agree that “AI/cognitive technologies empower people to make better decisions.”It certainly has a role to play in the corporate governance decision-making process as well, enabling board members and their companies to more easily, quickly, and thoroughly examine the data to help guide better-informed decisions.
Why now, though? According to the Deloitte report, 11% of respondents said they consider AI of “critical strategic importance” today, but 42% believe it will be critical two years from now.The report noted that nearly nine in 10 companies plan to spend more on AI and business intelligence in the coming year.Just two months ago MIT unveiled plans to invest $1 billion in a new College of Computing, which will focus on artificial intelligence and computing technologies for the next generation workforce.This clearly is a topic that isn’t going anywhere.
The implication is simple: Organizations have a window of opportunity to develop their AI strategies and sharpen their skills, but it’s a narrow one. Board members have an obligation to educate themselves on the current-day hot topics of AI, machine learning, and business intelligence, and to develop a solid understanding of where their organization is diving into this realm, and how it plans to get there.