Survey: Companies plan to increase use of AI over the next 2 years

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Screenshot 2024 06 14 At 7 34 40 AmArtificial intelligence (AI) has established itself as a vital business system and decision makers are taking note. According to Samsara's latest State of Connected Operations Report, Smarter, Faster, Safer: The AI Revolution in Physical Operations, 94% of operations leaders surveyed believe their organization needs to invest in AI technology solutions.

AI in the workplace is hardly new and its use is already widespread. More than half (51%) of leaders surveyed by Samsara said their organization is already using AI, and 93% predict they will by 2026. As with any emerging technology, many companies are wading into AI with some trepidation. Many (68%) describe their organization as cautious about adopting new technology, doing so only once it is market-tested, if there is a need, or rarely. However, that 51% are already using AI — and an additional 42% are planning to or open to it within the next 2 years — suggest business leaders no longer see AI as “too new to try.”

Just 32% of all leaders surveyed globally  —across both the private and public sector — report that AI use is “widespread” within their organization, according to the report. However, more than half of transportation (57%) leaders report that AI use is "widespread" within their organization – an adoption rate driven by ambitious safety goals.

Among AI adopters, reported benefits include improved safety (45%) and employee productivity (42%). Leadership roles are not the only ones within these organizations that are bullish on AI. According to the report, 90% of those already using AI say their employees feel positive about it. 

Evan Welbourne, head of AI and data at Samsara – noting that "AI is everywhere" – said when used strategically, advances in AI can bring meaningful change to companies. "For example," he said, "it can reduce costs, boost efficiency, and even save workers' lives in the field.”  

While some industries are slower to adopt AI, organizations within physical operations are embracing it, viewing it as a market-tested technology whose utility is proven and expanding, according to Samsara's report. Nearly all (94%) of leaders believe AI technology is vital to keep up, and 87% of organizations say they plan to increase investments in AI within the next 12 months. 

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Security and data privacy are vital

Of those already using AI or planning to in the next 12 to 24 months, 58% are implementing privacy and data protection measures. For the 63% of organizations that plan to adopt AI solutions created by external technology partners, the report found security is not to be sacrificed for functionality. 52% of leaders said they care most about a partner’s ability to integrate with existing systems, and security and privacy compliance (51%). 

“Not all AI solutions are created equal,” said Welbourne. “You have to be able to trust the system, and that means finding a technology partner who not only has a proven track record with responsible innovation, but who also deeply understands your business and the challenges you’re up against.”