MSM Research 

AI in Swiss businesses: untapped potential

Few companies can escape the market impact of artificial intelligence. However, a study by MSM and Swisscom shows that Swiss firms are only just getting started with AI.

Text: Christoph Widmer,

When chatbots talk to customers, production site maintenance work is predicted or huge data analysis projects are carried out for marketing purposes, artificial intelligence is at work, automating business processes and enabling companies to react quickly to market changes and develop new business models. At a time when high levels of flexibility and early identification of individual customer needs are more important than ever, artificial intelligence heralds a paradigm shift. In their artificial intelligence study, Swisscom and market research company MSM Research came to the same conclusion: few companies can escape the changes that AI is triggering in the market.

Most of the Swiss companies that took part in the study recognise the opportunities that AI offers: over 72% consider increased automation and faster business processes as key aspects of AI solutions. Strategic market advantages resulting from real-time analysis, short response times, innovations and new business models are seen as fundamental benefits by half of those questioned. And 30% of them are convinced that AI will have a significant impact on their own sector within the next three to five years.

Lagging behind with AI

Companies are therefore aware of the potential and impact of AI, although often only in a theoretical sense. Indeed, in relation to their own firms, 47% of the respondents said that the concrete benefits of AI solutions were not yet apparent. This was partly due to a lack of knowledge: 58% mentioned lack of internal know-how as an obstacle to the introduction of AI technologies – ahead of high costs (33%), security aspects (33%) and outdated legacy IT (31%). The full dimensions of AI have therefore not yet been properly explored by the majority of companies.

Companies are therefore only reluctantly implementing AI projects. Almost 67% of the study participants have no dedicated budget for the use of AI technologies. The authors claim that Switzerland is still in the starting blocks as far as the number of implemented AI projects and corresponding expenditure are concerned. Compared with the overall ICT market, AI activity remains marginal. Nevertheless, the study’s authors are optimistic and expect the market to grow exponentially in the next few years. One factor that they see as key for the future implementation of AI projects is partnerships. The companies questioned agree: around 47% of them consider universities and research institutes as important cooperation partners, while just under 38% believe collaboration with other companies is fundamental for the implementation of AI projects.

The study also reveals some other interesting results and information, including practical examples of AI applications being used by companies. It also shows the kind of themes and applications that businesses are linking to artificial intelligence and what their main criteria are for choosing AI consultants and service providers.

If you would you like to see the full results of the study, you can download it here now for free.

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