IT leaders are expecting big things out of their artificial intelligence (AI) investments—and fast—according to a new study (registration required) released today by AI-powered threat detection specialist Cylance.
Sixty-four percent of enterprise IT decision makers expect AI to generate a positive return on investment (AI) for their organizations, revealed Cylance's survey of 652 respondents in the U.S., France, Germany and the U.K. And the technology already paying off for overworked security teams.
Most IT professionals (81 percent) view AI as a tool to detect threats and possible attacks before their own security professionals can catch wind of them and 87 percent have already prevented breaches by employing AI-enabled solutions. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of respondents said AI is the answer to the cybersecurity skills gap affecting their businesses.
"For security teams, AI is already making a dramatic difference by helping them scale and focus, isolate critical problems faster, and significantly reduce the time required to solve those problems," said Shaun Walsh, senior vice president of Marketing at Cylance.
AI is also helping businesses stoke their competitive fires.
Using AI is considered a competitive advantage by 87 percent of IT decision makers, a viewpoint that is guiding the technology investment strategies at many firms. Eighty-three percent of respondents said they were explicitly spending money on AI solutions to beat the competition.
"The key takeaway from our research is that AI is making businesses more efficient and providing a competitive advantage today, and it will be making an even bigger impact on the enterprise in the next few years," Walsh said.
In the here and now, AI is already a crowd-pleaser that has caught the attention of C-suite executives.
Eighty-six percent of respondents said AI is already living up to its promises. Practically all of those polled said they are currently investing in AI-enabled IT solutions and 60 percent already have some form of AI toiling away at their workplaces. AI is also a top priority among C-level executives and board members at most organizations (79 percent).
IT departments also have some compelling reasons to embrace AI.
"For IT teams, this means identifying potential failure points in infrastructure as well as network bottlenecks [and] reducing the amount of manual work required for processes such as provisioning," Walsh said. "In some instances, the AI technology in place may be able fully remediate these issues without the help of IT, but in the foreseeable future we expect AI will primarily guide our work as opposed to simply automating it."
Although the powerful pattern-detection and analytics capabilities provided by AI solutions can help technology teams squeeze more value out of their workday, those benefits are already spilling over to other business units. Walsh remarked that the industry isn't "just seeing AI move the needle for IT and security, as respondents indicated the technology is already having a noticeable impact on manufacturing and logistics, operations, customer service and marketing."
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.