AI exceeds expectations for 75% of executives: Bain & Company survey

AI adoption is rapidly becoming the cornerstone of modern business strategies, driving innovation and reshaping industries worldwide. In a recent survey conducted by Bain & Company, 75% of more than 570 executives from various sectors say AI has met and exceeded their expectations. The findings, released in Bain’s fourth annual Global Technology Report, highlight the growing impact of artificial intelligence on businesses across the board.

“Innovation is happening quickly, and we are still in the early days,” said David Crawford, global head of Bain’s Technology practice. “Three out of four software companies we surveyed believe that early movers will have a sustained advantage that will not level off. Software leaders expect the technology to generate significant opportunities to increase topline growth and customer retention. Our research shows that, in this fast-moving environment, companies that take a wait-and-see approach to AI are at risk of being left behind.”

AI adoption boosts efficiency: 20% of worker tasks can be sped up

According to the report, the current generation of AI tools and models has the potential to accelerate approximately 20% of worker tasks without compromising quality. This efficiency boost is a significant advantage for companies looking to streamline their operations.

One striking revelation from the survey is that software companies are at the forefront of AI adoption. A staggering 89% of software companies already use AI to differentiate their products, surpassing other sectors by 15 percentage points. Early adopters in this sector are witnessing tangible results and productivity gains.

Addressing customer concerns in Generative AI

Companies embracing generative AI must address customer concerns about data protection, access, privacy, and integration with other technologies. The report emphasizes that software companies can set themselves apart by focusing on these areas and leveraging their established positions in customer architectures.

The integration of AI into various processes is expected to reshape job roles. Functions such as engineering, sales, and marketing are poised to benefit the most from AI in the next 18 months. Consequently, companies will require more engineering talent, particularly individuals with experience building or integrating large language models (LLMs).

Generative AI is set to revolutionize how companies market and sell their products and services. It offers significant automation potential across every stage of the customer life cycle, including demand generation, digital self-service sales, customer success, and support activities.

Investors bullish on AI, but competitive landscape uncertain

Bain’s report also sheds light on investor sentiment towards AI. Investors are highly enthusiastic about the potential of AI and machine learning (ML), with investments in these areas leading to venture growth in the first half of 2023. However, most investors remain cautious about the evolving competitive landscape in the AI sector.

Bain predicts that the global technology value chain will undergo significant changes over the next decade. Recent macroeconomic shocks have prompted tech manufacturers to enhance the resilience of their supply chains, expand geographically, and diversify talent pools. The goal is to build practical strength by diversifying critical aspects of businesses while getting closer to end markets.

Anne Hoecker, leader of Bain’s Americas Technology practice, explained, “The initial impulse led companies first to disentangle their supply chains. They are extending those efforts to R&D, talent, and innovation centers. The key is practical resilience, which means diversifying the most critical aspects of your business while getting closer to end markets.”

As AI continues to reshape industries and drive innovation, businesses and investors must adapt to these changes to stay competitive in an evolving landscape.


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