Inspite of the global pandemic impacting industries across, 47% of artificial intelligence (AI) investments were unaffected since the beginning of the pandemic and 30% of businesses planned to increase such investments, according to a Gartner poll. Only 16% had temporarily suspended AI investments, and just 7% had decreased them.
AI for enterprise has now started to deliver on its potential and its benefits for businesses are becoming a reality. In the new normal, AI came to the rescue. Chatbots supported to answer the flood of pandemic-related questions, computer algorithms helped maintain social distancing and machine learning (ML) models became indispensable to structure the effects of reopening economies.
What can businesses expect in the next year? Let us look at a few of our 2021 predictions for industries such as financial services, telecom, retail, and insurance and see how it is aligned with the vision of AI for enterprises in the coming year.
A pre-leap year for AI applications
2021 will be a pre-leap year for AI applications in the prominent B2C industries, such as financial services, telecom, retail, and insurance. We will see the supply side ramp up significantly, driven by continued investments by VCs, AI organizations, and major cloud providers. A span of AI development will focus very heavily on the digital, cognitive, supply chain, risk, and fraud – merging AI & engineering to build scaled/ reusable AI applications.
On the other end, the demand side will lag significantly as large enterprise consumers come to holds with the economic realities of the pandemic, higher levels of regulation – and announce significant reductions to their spending – however, will remain vested in investing in Digitization.
Digitization: The way forward
2021 will be a year of change. Today, there around 15% of businesses are digitally savvy. However, by the end of 2021, 30% of $ 1 billion-plus businesses will have a digital product portfolio, and 20% will have focused digital divisions dedicated to launching disruptive products, as per a recent Forrester report.
COVID-19 exposed the requirement for increased service digitization. The 2021 mission-critical applications of AI in enterprises will focus on significant cost reductions – unlocking efficiencies through digitization, customer self-service tools, anomaly detection in sales and service delivery. More mature organizations will take a big leap into cognitive systems, replacing the “human experience” more explicitly with “human-esque bots” – for frontoffice and backoffice operations.