Employees want more AI to boost productivity, study finds

Enterprise

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Eighty-one percent of employees believe that AI improves their overall performance at work. As a result, more than two thirds — 68% — are calling on their employers to deploy more AI-based technologies to help them execute tasks. That’s the top-level finding from a study published today by 3GEM on behalf of SnapLogic, which surveyed 400 office workers across the U.S. and UK about their opinions on AI in the workplace.

“In recent years, there was concern among office workers that AI would drive job losses, but employee opinions seem to have changed. The more they’ve been exposed to AI and see it in action, the more they’ve realized how much it can assist them with their daily work,” SnapLogic CTO Craig Stewart said in a statement.

More than half (56%) of employees responding to the SnapLogic survey said that that they’re using “AI” — which the survey doesn’t define — as a part of their daily job responsibilities. Meanwhile, 89% believe AI could support them in up to half of their activities, particularly in (1) explaining data, (2) revealing trends and patterns, (3) moving data from one place to another, and (3) accessing data residing in different places across the business.

Productivity boost

When asked about the benefits of AI, 61% of respondents said that it helped them have a more efficient and productive workday. Almost half (49%) felt that it improved their decision making and accelerated time-to-insights, while just over half (51%) said that they believe AI enables them achieve a better work/life balance.

SnapLogic’s research also took a look at the growing market for personal AI apps versus those used at work. The workplace appears to be the proving ground for the use of AI, according to Stewart, with 45% of respondents reporting having downloaded AI-powered work apps compared with the 26% reporting having downloading personal apps.

“As AI is increasingly used to make better decisions and rack up productivity gains, they’ve gone from tentatively accepting to fully embracing AI. The fact that they are now calling on their leaders to accelerate AI technology adoption in the enterprise is a real sea-change,” Stewart added.

SnapLogic has a vested interest in demonstrating demand for AI in the enterprise, of course. The company’s platform taps AI and machine learning to automate app, data, and cloud integration. But business interests aside, it’s a verifiable fact that AI technologies are becoming prevalent in workplaces around the world.

While the adoption rate varies between organizations, a majority of them — 95% in a recent S&P Global report — consider AI to be important in their digital transformation efforts. Corporations were expected to invest more than $50 billion in AI systems globally in 2020, according to IDC, up from $37.5 billion in 2019. And by 2024, investment is expected to reach $110 billion.

“The C-suite, or the top level of companies that are getting interested in this technology, are seeing how they can actually use AI for business,” Accenture global lead for applied intelligence Sanjeev Vohra explained during a recent panel at VentureBeat’s Transform conference. “It’s moved out of the experimentation zone … to something scaled. Businesses are using AI to scale business value and enterprise value.”

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