In spite of the intensifying hype over artificial intelligence (AI) in 2019, most CIOs today are at the yellow light phase of adoption, according to Isaac Sacolick. A digital transformation consultant and author of Driving Digital: The Leader’s Guide to Business Transformation through Technology, Sacolick’s read on recent surveys and industry events is that while a few leading CIOs at tech-focused companies are all-in on AI, most other IT executives are still taking a ‘wait-and-see’ approach.
He believes most CIOs are still struggling to overcome some big obstacles before getting serious about AI, including the need to build competent multi-disciplinary teams of machine learning, data science, business analysts, and data engineers, the business risks inherent with AI ethics, and the experimental and fragmented field of AI products that creates tremendous technology risk for AI early adopters.
Nevertheless, he thinks CIOs have an obligation to start getting their feet wet with AI now:
CIOs embracing digital transformation should add AI experimentation to these programs. By adding AI and machine learning to the scope, CIOs can start getting a better picture of the potential business benefits, competitive threats, and operational risks of applying AI in their industry. Without this research and development, organizational learning lags and CIOs may find a growing moat between their capabilities versus competitors that invested earlier.