AI and analytics will be will be critical to corporate success over the next two years, according to a survey by Gartner.
Survey results indicate that strategists believe that, on average, 50% of strategic planning and execution activities could be partially or fully automated though only 15% are currently the case, Gartner pointed out.
In addition, 79% of corporate strategists said that technologies such as AI, analytics, and automation will be critical to corporate success over the next 24 months
The survey was conducted from October 2022 through April 2023 among 200 corporate strategy leaders in North America, Western Europe, Asia Pacific, and Australia/New Zealand, across different industries, revenue and company sizes, Gartner said.
“Leveraging analytics and AI for more efficient, insightful strategy decisions is one of the biggest challenges, and opportunities, corporate strategists face this year,” said David Akers, Director, Research at Gartner. “For years, strategists have told their businesses: If you want to stay competitive and effective, you need to go digital. Now, they appear ready to apply that guidance to their own workflows.”
While most corporate strategists said that they are using descriptive and diagnostic analytics, less than half said they are using more advanced tools such as predictive, prescriptive or graph analytics, Gartner pointed out.
Similarly, only 20% of strategists reported using AI-related tools, such as machine learning or natural language processing, for their function, Gartner added.
However, a large percentage of strategy leaders said they are either piloting these tools or exploring use options, the firm noted.
For example, 51% said they are investigating machine learning and 45% said the same for predictive analytics, the firm said.
Build a use case strategy
One of the biggest obstacles to implementation is establishing a clear use case for new technologies, survey results indicated.
According to Gartner, 52% of strategists report that this is a top-three challenge — the most selected response.
“There are several reasons for this,” said Akers. “Strategists face an unfamiliar vendor market, have too many options to choose from and have little precedent to build upon.”
Much of the advanced technology that strategists said they are aiming to implement is already being used successfully elsewhere, Gartner pointed out.
To build a strong business case, Gartner recommended first mapping existing functionality to specific needs, then consider how to prioritise the different use cases that advanced technology could offer by asking questions about the purpose, impact and suitability of the new tools.