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Long-Term Roadmaps Are Top Enterprise AI Priority, ISG Study Finds

Survey of global AI decision-makers finds enterprises plan to double the number of AI-enabled applications by the end of 2024

New survey research from leading global technology research and advisory firm Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III) finds building a long-term AI strategy is the top priority for enterprise AI decision-makers.

Forty-two percent of respondents to the ISG Market Lens™ Artificial Intelligence Study said creating a long-term AI strategy or roadmap is one of their organization’s top three priorities, followed by 37 percent who said identifying AI use cases that build new revenue streams and 34 percent who prioritize AI use cases that improve customer experience.

The study was conducted globally in January 2024 and covered 200 executives with decision-making responsibility for AI initiatives and applications within IT and the business.

“Enterprises currently have an average of 251 AI-enabled applications, including those in pilot or beta mode, a number they expect to nearly double to 488 by the end of 2024. This is a shift in AI spending from two percent of the IT budget in 2023 to 3.7 percent in 2024,” said Alex Bakker, ISG Distinguished Analyst and co-author of the ISG study.

“These AI-enabled applications are wide-ranging, covering analytics, customer experience, HR, supply chain, procurement and more,” Bakker continued. “A long-term strategy is critical for guiding this rapid growth and ensuring AI investments are in line with business, revenue and customer experience goals.”

Measuring their organization’s performance against the top AI priorities, respondents rated their progress toward a long-term strategy positively. Forty-eight percent of survey respondents said their business is doing better than peer companies at formulating a long-term AI strategy, while 42 percent said their AI-supported customer experience is better than peers. However, 27 percent say they are trailing their peers when it comes to using AI to generate new revenue streams.

Respondents say the most valuable AI use cases over the next two years will be cost and value optimization (rated most valuable by 26 percent of respondents), predictive operations such as supply chain (15 percent), and customer-facing recommendation engines (14 percent). In terms of use cases, cost optimization ranks highest across all industries, but other use cases vary by industry. For instance, recommendation engines rank second in banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) and retail, while predictive operations rank second in the energy and manufacturing sectors. In healthcare, quality assurance ranks second as the most important use case.

“Enterprises expect AI to come at greater cost and are willing to pay 7 percent to 8 percent more for applications with AI functionality,” said Michael Dornan, principal analyst and co-author of the study. “Though the highest proportion (30 percent) of respondents said efficiency is their organization’s primary motivation for enabling AI technologies, AI is currently driving up costs across the business more than it is saving through efficiencies.”

Dornan added: “Twice as many enterprises say their spending on security, cloud, CX and other IT initiatives is increasing compared with those who say it is falling, with AI considered the cause of the increase in around three-quarters of these cases. Even still, enterprises are placing the most value on achieving AI’s promise of cost and labor efficiencies over the coming two years.”

ISG Market Lens™ buyer behavior studies combine findings from surveys of senior-level global executives with expert ISG research and analysis on market trends and strategic business initiatives. Recent studies explored application development and maintenance , cost optimization, cybersecurity, global capability centers, network modernization, banking and the future workplace.

Contact ISG for more information on ISG Market Lens research.

About ISG

ISG (Information Services Group) (Nasdaq: III) is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 900 clients, including more than 75 of the world’s top 100 enterprises, ISG is committed to helping corporations, public sector organizations, and service and technology providers achieve operational excellence and faster growth. The firm specializes in digital transformation services, including automation, cloud and data analytics; sourcing advisory; managed governance and risk services; network carrier services; strategy and operations design; change management; market intelligence and technology research and analysis. Founded in 2006, and based in Stamford, Conn., ISG employs more than 1,600 digital-ready professionals operating in more than 20 countries—a global team known for its innovative thinking, market influence, deep industry and technology expertise, and world-class research and analytical capabilities based on the industry’s most comprehensive marketplace data. For more information, visit


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