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Asia Pacific & Japan lead in AI adoption, Rackspace study reveals
Thu, 28th Mar 2024

According to Rackspace Technology's New Foundry for AI by Rackspace (FAIR) 2024 AI Research Report, the transition from ideation to the early adoption phases of artificial intelligence (AI) strategies is occurring at an accelerated pace, particularly in the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ). The study uncovered that over 70% of participants had taken their AI strategies beyond the proof-of-concept stages, demonstrating a robust commitment to integrating this transformative technology into their operations.

Survey results show an increasing level of AI readiness across the region, with 77% of respondents reporting that their companies have effectively adopted AI and cloud platforms. This readiness extends beyond the adoption of technology, with an equal percentage achieving satisfactory standards in terms of security and privacy associated with AI solutions.

Nearly half of the surveyed companies reported operational readiness for AI. Primary drivers behind AI and machine learning (ML) implementation were identified as cost reduction and improving customer experience (60% each), followed by boosting employee productivity (58%).

Hemanta Banerjee, Vice President of Public Cloud Data Services at Rackspace Technology, noted that the "rapid integration of AI into business landscapes" urgently calls for companies to adopt an iterative approach and constantly evaluate the return on investments of their AI projects.

The report also highlighted a notable continued increase in AI investments. Firms anticipate doubling their budgets in 2024 compared with 2023. Further, 86% of APJ participants revealed that their organisations have experienced tangible benefits from the use of AI, reinforcing the value proposition of AI integration.

When identifying successful uses for AI/ML initiatives, respondents highlighted operational efficiency as the key advantage, citing intelligent search (61%), document processing (59%), and fraud detection (54%) as leading applications. Moreover, about half of the APJ respondents cited IT departments as spearheading the company's AI strategy, with other areas such as customer service and functional departments like marketing, sales, and finance offering significant support.

Notwithstanding the rapid adoption, organisations continue to maintain astute vigilance against risks associated with AI, including ethical and security concerns. Results showed that 55% of APJ participants ranked "cybersecurity" as the biggest risk associated with AI adoption. Over half of respondents consider the responsible and ethical use of AI central to their AI governance strategy.

Another vital aspect the survey reveals is the persistent scarcity of AI skills. A significant 85% of APJ companies reported attempts to recruit individuals with AI/ML skills; however, finding the right talent remains challenging. Consequently, it emerged that 40% of companies are presently offering formalised AI training programs, with a further 58% planning to do so in the future.

The FAIR 2024 AI Research Report by Rackspace Technology highlights a rapid uptake of AI across the Asia Pacific and Japan region. With over 70% of companies moving beyond proof-of-concept stages, there's a solid commitment to integrating AI into operations. Despite clear benefits such as improved efficiency, challenges like cybersecurity risks and talent shortages persist. Moving forward, a balanced approach focusing on ethical governance and talent development will be essential for sustained success in AI integration.