Bluewolf, an IBM Company focusing on Salesforce consulting has released new research finding that out of Australian businesses currently using AI, just 33% expect to increase their investment.
This compares with a global equivalent figure of 77%, with more international organisations indicating they would increase AI investment over the next 12 months.
It also shows that 83% of businesses have not yet invested in AI to enhance self-service capabilities while 85% neglected AI investment to make their job easier, with global comparisons of 65% and 59%, respectively.
Bluewolf says the figures represent a clear demonstration that Aussies are lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to projected AI uptake.
The results are based on insights from more than 1,800 Salesforce customers worldwide, including a number of business leaders in Australia.
While the report shows a potential lack of local investment, it also indicates that 67% of Australian respondents investing in AI within the next 12 months expect it to have the biggest impact on customer satisfaction.
Bluewolf says AI cannot be ignored, with a growing demand of high-quality interactions between business and consumer making it necessary for companies to leverage AI-enhanced capabilities to deliver quality customer experiences across all channels.
Commenting on the findings, Aniqa Tariq, Bluewolf managing director for Australia and New Zealand says, "What we're seeing is that customer expectations are changing rapidly and the power is undoubtedly in the hands of the consumer because they can demand better experiences from the companies that they do business with.
"While Australia still has a way to go in matching the global uptake of AI, we expect this will grow quickly given that the competitive pressure of staying still is becoming more of a concern as innovative new companies, both local and global, enter the market."
Bluewolf says the role of IT has evolved beyond solely managing a company’s technical infrastructure to align with business stakeholders.
On a Salesforce application level, the findings show that almost one-third (31%) of Australian organisations (and 33% globally) report that IT is ultimately responsible for their Salesforce investment.
Tariq adds, “IT has a new responsibility to be a cross-functional innovation partner and needs to achieve outcomes based on what a company cares about more broadly; otherwise there is a risk of reverting back to the more traditional ‘business as usual’.”
The research also shows that more than two-thirds of Australian sales leaders (76%) report that having a 360-degree view of the customer is the most critical factor in driving sales effectiveness, compared to just over half globally (51%).
Eric Berridge, Bluewolf CEO says, “The pressure to deliver experiences that customers demand requires technology that unlocks the value of data, enables employees to make smarter decisions faster, and grows with the business.”
“Artificial intelligence is a vehicle that can allow businesses to use data at scale to connect more deeply than ever before. This year’s The State of Salesforce report shows that those already investing in advanced technologies are reaping its early rewards and bringing real business outcomes – now.”
Bluewolf’s sixth-annual The State of Salesforce report is its biggest ever and is based on more than 140,000 data points.