AI adoption in A/NZ companies is slower than it is globally – What are they waiting for?

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AI adoption in A/NZ companies is slower than it is globally – What are they waiting for?

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  • IT departments in Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) are the lowest adopters of AI and machine learning (ML) technologies compared to the rest.
  • 82% of A/NZ respondents either strongly agree or somewhat agree that AI will soon play a key role in bolstering their organization’s IT security system.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has quickly become crucial in people’s everyday lives. From virtual assistants on smartphones to autonomous vehicles on the roads, AI is altering how people live and work. However, some companies from a particular region are slower than the rest of the world to adopt AI.

Australian and New Zealand (A/NZ) companies are among the two that are slow to adopt AI.

According to ManageEngine’s latest global study, “IT at work: 2022 and beyond,” IT departments in A/NZ are the lowest adopters of AI and machine learning (ML) technologies of all the nations surveyed, with only 27% having done so, falling short of the global average of 44%.

The A/NZ region also performed poorly (50%), falling short of the global average of 57% when applying AI and ML to defend against cyberattacks. This discrepancy occurs as Australia fights off growing cyber threats. In the past year, a record AU$ 33 billion was lost to fraudsters, despite local businesses raising their cybersecurity budgets.

According to Ramprakash Ramamoorthy, director of research at ManageEngine, business leaders must arm themselves with the greatest technology to combat dynamic threats and enhance the working conditions for their IT staff.

“AI and ML can ease workloads through automation, which frees up time for them to do their jobs and share knowledge across the organization. Such resourceful ways of thinking are essential to support workers and get on top of cyber threats, and it’s promising to see a substantial increase in focus on the horizon for these technologies,” explained Ramamoorthy.

The belief that AI plays a significant role in respondents’ companies is strong

Despite the slow adoption, 82% of A/NZ respondents said they either strongly agree or somewhat agree that AI will soon play a key role in bolstering their organization’s IT security system. Only 1% of respondents from both countries said their company had made no investments in AI or ML, and 62% said they expected their company to adopt new technologies like AI and ML, big data, and the cloud within the next five years.

Another key finding from the study, consistent with global results, is that only 5% of decision-makers think everyone is responsible for safeguarding the organization against cyberattacks, while the majority of 53% think the IT and security teams are. Only 62% of respondents, the lowest percentage in comparison to the rest of the globe, strongly or somewhat agree that non-IT staff at their company try to help prevent cyberattacks.

According to Rajesh Ganesan, President of ManageEngine, it is alarming to learn that organizations in Australia are understaffed and under pressure to handle current cyber threats.

AI adoption in A/NZ companies is slower than it is globally – What are they waiting for?

Rajesh Ganesan, President of ManageEngine. (Source – ManageEngine)

“That gets exacerbated when most people in such organizations feel security is not everyone’s responsibility and can be delegated to a single group,” said Ganesan. “Such collective insights help organizations immensely in rethinking their strategies and we are glad to do our bit by facilitating this knowledge exercise across the globe.”

The importance of AI for APAC

The adoption of AI is essential for the APAC region. This is because the region is home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world, and AI has the potential to support their further expansion and thrive. Businesses in the APAC region can boost their productivity and efficiency with AI, enabling them to remain competitive in a global market.

According to IDC, regional investment in AI will reach US$ 46.3 billion by 2026, expanding at a 23.7% CAGR between 2021 and 2026.

By 2026, spending in the region’s top five AI use cases is anticipated to treble. These use cases include enhanced customer service representatives, automated smart business innovation, enhanced threat and intelligence systems, and sales process recommendations.

Overall, the region’s sustained growth and development depend on the APAC region adopting AI.