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Thursday, November 9, 2023

Microsoft-backed study shows AI investments producing returns

An article from

Dive Brief

For every $1 companies invest in AI, they are realizing an average of $3.50 in return, the report says.


Published Nov. 8, 2023


Jeenah Moon via Getty Images

First published on

Dive Brief:

  • Organizations are realizing a return on their artificial intelligence investments ↗ within 14 months of deployments on average, according to a recent study conducted by research firm IDC and sponsored by Microsoft.

  • For every $1 companies invest in AI, they are realizing an average of $3.50 in return, according to a report on the findings. The research is based on a survey of 2,109 enterprise organizations worldwide.

  • “The study illustrates that AI has demonstrable business value, and we are seeing this surface in core use cases within areas like employee experience, customer engagement and internal business processes, and how AI can help bend the curve on innovation,” Alysa Taylor, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s industry and Azure cloud platform divisions, wrote in a blog post ↗.

Dive Insight:

Less than a year after the debut of ChatGPT, a game-changing “generative AI” tool created by Microsoft-backed startup OpenAI, one-third of organizations are regularly using such technologies in at least one business function, according to a global survey released by McKinsey in August ↗.

Nearly one-quarter of surveyed C-suite executives said they were personally using generative AI tools for work, and more than one-quarter of respondents said the technology is already on their boards’ agendas.

Another 40% of respondents said their organizations planned to increase their investment in AI overall.

“Gen AI has captured interest across the business population: individuals across regions, industries, and seniority levels are using gen AI for work and outside of work,” McKinsey said in a report on the survey findings.

Generative AI could enable automation of up to 70% of business activities across almost all occupations between now and 2030, adding trillions of dollars in value ↗ to the global economy, according to a September article from McKinsey.

Despite the positive outlook for AI, organizations are facing challenges when it comes to implementation, according to the IDC report.

A shortage of skilled employees is holding companies back from accelerating their AI-based innovations, with 52% of those surveyed reporting a lack of skilled workers needed to implement and scale AI initiatives across business functions as the top blocker, the report said.

In a related study released by KPMG in September, about half (51%) of corporate executives said that, on average, they hadn’t seen an increase of performance or profitability from digital transformation investments ↗ over the last 24 months, as previously reported by CFO Dive.

Forty-seven percent of respondents said a lack of governance and coordination is most likely to hinder a digital transformation project. Other top hurdles included a lack of skills within the organization (41%); a risk-averse culture that is slow to embrace change (40%); constraints from legacy technology (39%); and cybersecurity or privacy issues (37%).

Kaylie Pferten
Kaylie Pferten
A pilot of submersible crafts in a former life, now married to my husband David and writing about investment advice.

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