Our 2020 enterprise AI adoption surveys show that 85% of senior business and tech leaders at director and CXO levels consider AI initiatives to be strategic, long-term differentiators. Given that every business is an AI and data business these days, consideration of AI and data resources and capabilities as key strategic assets is hardly a surprise for any organization, be it in the TSP or ITSP space or in any of the end-user domains/ verticals/ functions.
Q1# Why is The Big AI Story still conspicuous by its absence?
When an overwhelmingly large section of business leaders consider AI as strategically imperative for business success, the AI narratives of their organizations must also reflect this leadership priority and competitive reality. But, current-state AI adoption maturity surveys show that 90%+ of the enterprise AI narratives are still limited within the scope of small POCs and pilots, in specific task/ process/ functional siloes, rather than spanning across critical end-to-end business processes.
Consequently, most of these AI narratives can at best demonstrate short-term operational cost savings and often completely miss out on the Big AI Stories across the entire enterprise, in terms of the strategic and competitive impacts that they COULD create, if they were built with a strategic vision- that BIG STORY.
Starting small with specific POCs and pilot initiatives, in terms of AI execution strategy, is NOT a bad idea at all. But NOT HAVING the Big Story in the organizational visual cortex, is a strategic miss that most of the competitive organizations can ill afford, if they want to stay relevant in today's markets.
Q2# What are the state-of-the-art AI story-telling capabilities, in the supply-side of AI-data-cloud integrated or siloed tech-stacks?
The supply side is just as bleak as the end-user scenario, when it comes to AI story-telling. The 2021 Stanford University AI research index report clearly shows just how much cluttered and non-differentiable the AI tech supply-side world has become:
"The number of AI journal publications grew by 34.5% from 2019 to 2020—a much higher percentage growth than from 2018 to 2019 (19.6%)". US contributed to 19.2% of the total publications, whereas China (15.6%) and the European Union (17.2%) contributed significant research output. " In past six years, the "number of AI-related publications on arXiv grew by more than sixfold, from 5,478 in 2015 to 34,736 in 2020."
Clearly, from a technology research standpoint, AI has fast captured the world's imagination:
Q3#: Why is an integrated AI narrative so hard to find, across the tech supply-chain and the end-user adoption space?
Thanks to the seemingly infinite no. of siloed narratives in the AI tech and applications space, the AI leaders are often made to feel like The Ancient Mariner: 'Water, Water, Everywhere, Not a Drop to Drink'.
Along with the core tech vendors in the intertwined tech-supply world of AI-data-hybrid cloud, namely the AWS, IBM, Google, Microsoft, Alibaba et al, the ITSP market is also flooded with tech application patents, e.g. IBM clocking 9130 patents in 2020 alone, Accenture clocking 7900+ patents applications in the same year.
It is clearly evidenced that the AI tech supply-side is witnessing its hay-days or AI Springs. However, it has also created a never-seen-before tech-supply clutter in the AI tech-stacks space. For every small piece of AI tech-stack or use-case, there are easily at least 20 to 100+ 'me-too' vendors, starting from small so-called 'bleeding-edge' start-up's, to the usual Biggies. And even the biggies are unable to articulate and communicate the Big AI Story, of the integrated value chain powered by AI-data-cloud integrated techstacks.
Q4# Why is no one clearly telling what strong AI value they are bringing to the table/ market, of the end-user businesses?
Just think of chatbot / conversational AI development platforms/ tools, or their use-cases, or simple OCR to handwriting recognition functions, or document filtering/ clustering/ classification, semantic extraction etc. There are 1000's of vendors of different sizes and shapes, telling forced and fake/empty-sounding narratives of differentiators, offering pretty much same core functionalities. Their so-called "Stories" or marketing narratives are literally non-differentiable and add no value to anyone:
Net net, the current-state narratives are unrelatable and irrelevant for business decision maker persona. The AI tech narratives from 1000's of similar solutions vendors, have such high degrees of similarity scores, that it's actually very easy to cluster them as nearly same products/ platforms, in just about 5-6 broad AI tech/ usecase buckets.
Q5# How will good AI story-telling help both the vendors and the end-users stand out of the crowd?
To stand out in this extremely crowded tech market-place with near-zero distancing, the vendors will have to sell their value propositions- by Value, for their customers/ users, and not by tech marvel stories. Vendors that can create a good AI story, in terms of Impact and Value to their clients' businesses and not just for developers/ geeks, will win the budgets/ funds. Similarly, end-users that build their AI stories keeping the key Human Stakeholders (e.g. suppliers/ partners/ employees/ customers) at the center, will win in their competitive market.
For end-users, given that every business is an AI business today, every AI story HAS GOT TO BE A GOOD BUSINESS STORY (must read like a Jeffrey Archer/ Agatha Christie short story :)), with: