- Cisco has released the findings of its AI readiness report, with the major local statistic being that only 11 percent of SA businesses are ready to fully deploy AI.
- 98 percent noted an increased interest in getting an AI solution up and running within their organisation.
- Cisco identified six key areas that need addressing if more companies are to deploy AI.
Every business is seemingly chasing artificial intelligence at the moment, with many still trying to see where best to deploy AI within their organisation.
The same rings true within the South African ICT landscape, although not all companies are indeed ready. This is according to Cisco’s latest AI Readiness Index, which looked at over 8 000 companies globally, collating responses as to the willingness, capacity, and overall readiness that organisations are at when it comes to deploying fully-fledged AI in some manner.
Looking closer at the local insights from the report, Cisco notes that only 11 percent of South African companies have said that they are ready to fully deploy AI. This is slightly less than the global mark, Cisco points out, which is sitting at 14 percent.
While a small percentage of organisations have confirmed their readiness, the overwhelming majority are actively looking to deploying AI within their organisations. To that end, the Index notes that 98 percent of organisations in South Africa reported that the urgency to deploy AI-powered technologies has increased in their company in the past six months.
“AI readiness has quickly ascended to become a top business priority, no matter the size or sector. The pressure is being felt and no one wants to be left behind as we catapult into the future. At the same time, AI readiness is not a one-dimensional conversation. IT infrastructure, including networks, compute resource and cybersecurity need to be assessed, alongside strategy, data governance and company culture, so that leaders and employees are ready to explore the potential of AI,” highlighted Smangele Nkosi, GM at Cisco South Africa, in a press release sent to Hypertext.
The company is also cognisant of the questions that are being raised in the pursuit of AI, with 77 percent of respondents admitting data exists in silos across their organisations, which of course brings concerns around data privacy and security to the fore.
On this front though, Smangele says, “findings from the Index revealed that companies in South Africa are taking many proactive measures to prepare for an AI-centric future. When it comes to building AI strategies, 96% of organizations are already in the process of developing an AI strategy.”
Cisco has highlighted six areas in particular that must either be considered or addressed if companies are to reach the desired readiness and not be left behind over the coming year.
The areas are strategy, infrastructure, data, governance, talent, and culture.
“The race to AI Readiness is on, with organizations under intense pressure to shift from strategic planning to execution mode in order to capitalize on the transformative potential that AI represents,” said Liz Centoni, EVP and GM for Applications and Chief Strategy Officer at Cisco.
“To realize the benefit of AI-powered products and services, companies need solutions that secure and observe their AI models and toolchains to ensure performance, secure sensitive data and systems, and deliver trustworthy and responsible AI outcomes,” she concluded.
To download the report in full, head here.