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Altum Strategy Group & YouGov release results from a new survey

AI Implementation Critical to Improve Efficiency and Productivity

A recent survey from Altum Strategy Group, in partnership with YouGov, uncovers that leaders are increasingly embracing innovation and technology to spearhead business transformation, but company size and age indicate gaps in how AI will be leveraged to support that transformation. Fielded in December 2023, the survey comprises 533 C-suite leaders in the United States.

The survey, which ranked priority areas for business transformation and focus for AI in 2024, revealed that business leaders recognize the need for continuous development and enhancement of products and technology to stay competitive in the market and that AI will play a significant role.

“In 2024, business leaders will be facing pivotal choices regarding the necessary investments for organizational transformation. The data is clear: technology and product innovation will remain paramount, with companies increasingly harnessing the power of AI to streamline operations and gain a competitive edge in saturated markets,” said Matthew Gantner, CEO and Founder of Altum Strategy Group.

Bigger Companies Vs Smaller Companies

The survey showed a significant divide between companies of different sizes. For example, business leaders of companies with less than 50 employees rank product innovation higher than those of larger companies (52% vs 34%). A similar pattern exists when it comes to people structure and management. For this, the smaller companies rank it at 46% vs larger companies at 34%.

For environmental, social, and corporate governance, AI opportunities and merger and acquisition strategies, it is the larger companies who rank these higher at 36%, 33%, and 24%, respectively – specifically, leaders managing businesses with 100-500 employees are more likely to focus on exploring AI opportunities than any others (42%).

AI Implications – Bigger Companies Vs Smaller Companies

Additionally, there is a significant (>90%CI) gap between smaller companies and larger companies in their focus on implementing AI. In companies with less than 50 employees, leaders are placing twice as much priority on improving efficiency and productivity benefits from AI in 2024 (51%) compared to businesses with over 50 employees (27%).

Smaller companies are more likely to rank gaining competitive advantage (29%) and making better strategic decisions (30%) as more important in implementing AI, compared to leaders managing businesses with more than 50 staff (20% and 20%, respectively).

Larger companies are more likely to place a higher priority on attracting and developing AI talent within the organization (22%), focusing on data infrastructure (22%), as well as change management for staff adoption of AI in the business (18%) compared to businesses with fewer staff (14%, 8%, 11% respectively).

Younger Companies Vs. Older Companies

Companies of over 20 years see their transformation focus in 2024 being about product innovation (47%) and people structure and management (45%) compared to companies of under 20 years who see their focus being on environmental, social, and corporate governance (35%) with exploring AI opportunities (34%).

Younger businesses, those under five years, show an overwhelming focus (50%) on using AI to improve efficiency and productivity compared to the other areas of impact AI could have on the business. However, they are less likely to recognize the need to attract AI talent (14%) than more seasoned businesses (from 5-10 years, 23%).

C-Suite Vs. Owners

One other area of differentiation was in the perspectives of different leaders within an organization. For example, Chairs and CEOs see technological transformation as far more important (47%) than the owners of companies (30%). Conversely, it is the owners who see product innovation and people structure and management as more important (50% and 44%).

Business owners place a much higher focus on using AI to improve efficiency and productivity than any other area (46%). In comparison, chairs and CEOs are far more inclined to prioritize articulating the ethical and responsible use of AI (25%), while Managing Directors are looking to attract AI talent the most (24%).

Survey results can be found at https://altumstrategy.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Survey-of-US-Senior-Business-Leaders_Transformation-and-AI.pdf

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