AI and data analysis technologies far from their full potential

In France, 63% of managers use artificial intelligence and data analysis technologies to carry out their missions, according to a study carried out by Axys Consultants. But several factors, such as the lack of training or acculturation of these tools prevent them from taking full advantage of them.

In France, AI and data analysis technologies are the most used in the context of the managerial function, but obstacles to the development of the latter are felt more keenly. This is the main lesson of a national study carried out by Axys Consultants among 220 senior executives. The results indeed show that nearly 2/3 of managers rely on this type of solution to carry out their missions (63%). Big data tools (53%) are the most used by senior executives, ahead of AI which comes in 2nd position (43%). According to the firm, these scores suggest that the projects planned for 2021 have been completed. In fact, 35% of respondents were working on the subject and 9% had implemented concrete solutions using AI (i.e. 44%).

Far behind are virtual reality (12%), augmented reality (6%) and the metaverse which is making a timid breakthrough at 2%. It should be noted, however, that more than a third of managers do not use any application mentioned in this ranking. The use of semantic search engines is down compared to last year (25% compared to 35% in 2021), as is that of chatbots/voicebots (22% compared to 40%). Conversely, recognition software from text or voice, although still little used, are twice as used by managers in 2022 (10% compared to 5% in 2021).

Focus on training while reducing costs

Despite the growing interest of general management for these task automation solutions, certain obstacles are mentioned in a more exacerbated way with regard to their use. The first handicap remains the lack of training and the acculturation of users to these tools, a finding that has more than doubled to 73% in 2022 (compared to 33% last year). As proof, more than half of the decision-makers (57%) surveyed by Axys want to strengthen their skills in the fields of AI, machine and deep learning and data sciences. They also request training in digital strategy (43%). Learning to use collaborative tools in management is important for more than a quarter of respondents (27%), while acquiring know-how in agile methods and lean management is requested by 20% of them.

After the rise in skills, the second black spot in the development of AI and data in companies is the cost (cited by 55% of respondents compared to only 11% in 2021). Among the other obstacles, there is also the fear of not being able to explain the results of solutions such as AI, cited by 37% of respondents. Ethics issues, which were 3rd in 2021, have dropped to 4th place but with a higher percentage (35% against 21%). If all these downsides have increased in intensity, the only one that escapes this rule is the fear of being replaced by a robot which is half as significant (10% against 20% in 2021).

Still high expectations on automation

The ranking of the expectations of senior executives with regard to technologies has also been modified in 2022. Only the automation of tasks retains its 1st place while posting a very strong increase (67% vs 44%). Next comes the possibility of improving collective action, cited by more than half of respondents (53%). The increase in performance is back on the third step of the podium with a score that has more than quadrupled compared to 2021 to 51%. The following items also show very strong increases compared to 2021. The objective of using technology / AI / big data to help managers predict their activity and that of their teams more than triples (41% against 16% ) and almost tripled for better anticipating risks (35% against 13%).

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