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Is AI the missing link to customer connection?

Despite potential benefits of AI adoption businesses remain hesitant.

By CBR Staff Writer

The majority of business leaders are concerned they would not have the skills to operate AI, despite nearly two-thirds believing it would generate value, a survey has found.

Almost a third of senior IT and business decision makers expressed concerns over their company’s readiness for a technological upgrade, with 30% admitting reluctance to introduce AI into their workplace now, according to a survey by SAS.

However, 65% of those surveyed are convinced that an injection of AI technology into workflow could add value to their business.

The compelling potential for cost-saving may be why 77% of businesses say they are already using AI in marketing, and over a third (37%) of businesses who are not using it already, plan to implement the technology within the next two years.


Artificial intelligence could potentially reduce costs in staff time, admin, manufacturing and purchasing. The hope is that mundane and repetitive tasks can be automated, based on personal preferences of the business user. But business leaders were divided over the financial outlay required for a tech upgrade. Just under half (39%) expressed concerns over the cost of solutions and a slight majority (55%) felt uncomfortable about return on investment.

A further concern was that artificial intelligence is not yet up to the task, with half of leaders (46%) believing technology is still in its infancy, and a third (36%) stating they do not trust the technology to deliver what their business needs.

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Despite these concerns, many businesses are already using the technology to analyse customer data for more personalised experiences. The report found nearly a third (30%) are using AI to proactively interact with customers based on their behaviour and mood. A larger proportion (36 per cent) are using it to build more meaningful relationships with their customers by targeting them with relevant messaging and offers at the right moment, and even predict how their customers will respond or act.

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“What’s needed to take AI and machine learning to the next level is a scalable, advanced analytics platform, where accurate insights can be quickly extracted from all the data,” said Peter Pugh-Jones, Head of Technology, SAS UK & Ireland.

“This gives organisations both the fuel and the engine to begin experimenting with AI and successfully explore the boundaries of what is possible.”

The research was carried out on 300 senior IT & business decision makers, and 350 heads of marketing, digital and data.

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