Following the COVID-19 pandemic Indian enterprises have begun to adopt advanced analytics and data-driven decision making. As per the PwC report titled, “Towards a smarter tomorrow: Impact of AI in the post-COVID era” the industrial products and manufacturing sector has seen the maximum adoption of AI/ML over the last two years. Almost 64% of the organisations surveyed in the Industrial Products and Manufacturing sector say they are currently at an early stage of their AI-based transformation journey reflecting the opportunities for further investments and growth led by AI/ML solutions in this sector.
While there has been a significant increase in AI adoption with scalable impact in terms of returns, trends indicate that the travel and hospitality industry has reached a degree of saturation. While the Technology, Media, Telecom as well as Healthcare and Pharmaceutical sectors have seen steady progress, they are facing certain challenges around measuring the return-on-investments, especially in the pre- and post-COVID-19 times. Compared to the other sectors, the retail and consumer market has seen a decline in AI adoption due to a gap in the identification of potential use cases amidst changing market forces and consumer behaviour.
Sudipta Ghosh, Partner & Leader – Data & Analytics, PwC India, said, “As organisations mature in their journey towards using AI for driving business outcomes, a three-pronged approach around identification of appropriate use cases, rigour of measuring and communicating the RoI along with driving adoption and scale at the enterprise level using the framework of responsible and explainable AI will be critical.”
Dr. Indranil Mitra, Managing Director & Leader – Advanced Analytics, PwC India, said, “As the volume of enterprise data grows, it is becoming increasingly important to leverage this data in a meaningful way. Companies that are using AI to model this data are reaping the benefits of business transformation enabled by effective decision making. However, to truly differentiate themselves from the competition, leaders must also have a deep understanding of the risks around security, privacy, and accountability.”
Sectoral AI adoption trends:
● Industrial products & Manufacturing: Over the past two years, from mid-2020 to 2022-23, this sector has seen the maximum increase of 20% in the adoption/implementation of AI/ML solutions. Following implementations in the 12–18-month period following the pandemic, organisations from this segment have reaped maximum benefits from AI in three business functions – namely, manufacturing and operations, supply chain and logistics, and IT and cybersecurity.
● Retail: In comparison with the other sectors, the retail and consumer industry witnessed a marginal decrease of 6% in 2022–23 as compared to 2020. This was triggered by the gap in identification of the right use cases and measuring the RoI. Use cases in this sector are primarily in sales and marketing, customer service, and supply chain and logistics with 68%, 52% and 56% of participants, respectively, reporting only marginal to no improvements.
● Technology, Media & Telecom: As per the survey, there is a nearly 15% increase in the number of respondents that have deployed enterprise wide AI/ML solutions at scale. To keep up with market forces and build a long-term competitive advantage, organisations are piloting AI/ML solutions to investigate and measure their impact. There was an almost 7% increase in such implementation at the pilot level in 2022-23 as compared to 2020.
● Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals: Following the COVID-19 pandemic, this sector has seen steady progress in AI adoption with a 7% increase since 2020–21. As per the survey, 85% of the respondents are interested in AI-enabled, patient-centric solutions (such as sharing customised treatment plans for autonomous disease detection and aiding prevention/cure), while approximately 65% are interested and willing to pay for a service for a disease or a medical concern that can be predicted using AI. However, 15% of the total respondents trust the outcome of the AI-generated diagnosis results, while 78% of the population wants to further investigate and discuss it with doctors.
● Travel & Hospitality: Compared with 2020, this market is now moving towards saturation. The sector has seen approximately 7% growth in AI adoption, and almost 99% of organisations surveyed today have either implemented AI/ML at scale in at least in some areas. Organisations have also seen a proportionate boost in business performance due to specific investments in a business function with 67% respondents reporting a significant improvement in results.