More strategic planning, and execution could be automated for future success
A recent survey conducted by Gartner, Inc., leading research, and advisory company, indicates that corporate strategists recognize the critical role of analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and automation in achieving success over the next two years. With 79 per cent of respondents acknowledging the significance of these technologies, the survey highlights a growing trend towards digital transformation in strategic planning and execution.
The survey, carried out between October 2022 and April 2023, gathered insights from 200 corporate strategy leaders across North America, Western Europe, Asia/Pacific, and Australia/New Zealand. Participants hailed from diverse industries, representing companies of varying sizes and revenue levels.
The findings of the survey shed light on the potential for increased automation within strategic planning and execution activities. Strategists indicated that, on average, 50 per cent of these activities could be partially or fully automated. However, the current level of automation stands at a mere 15 per cent, suggesting significant room for growth and optimization.
David Akers, Director of Research at Gartner, emphasizes the immense potential that analytics and AI offer in enhancing strategy decisions. Akers stated, “Leveraging analytics and AI for more efficient, insightful strategy decisions is one of the biggest challenges, and opportunities, corporate strategists face this year. They are now ready to apply the digital transformation guidance they have long advised their businesses to their own workflows.”
The survey revealed that while most corporate strategists are utilizing descriptive and diagnostic analytics, less than half of the respondents reported using advanced tools such as predictive, prescriptive, or graph analytics. Similarly, only 20 per cent of strategists indicated employing AI-related technologies, including machine learning and natural language processing, within their function. However, a substantial portion of strategy leaders expressed their intent to pilot or explore these tools, with 51 per cent investigating machine learning and 45 per cent exploring predictive analytics.
One of the key challenges identified in the survey is establishing clear use cases for the adoption of new technologies. Over half (52 per cent) of the strategists highlighted this as a top-three challenge, attributing it to factors such as the unfamiliar vendor market, the abundance of options, and the lack of existing precedents.
Gartner advises organizations to build a strong business case by mapping existing functionality to specific needs and prioritizing different use cases that advanced technology can offer. This can be achieved through a thorough assessment of the purpose, impact, and suitability of the new tools.
As corporate strategists increasingly recognize the potential of analytics, AI, and automation, these technologies are poised to revolutionize strategic planning and execution. Embracing these transformative tools will enable organizations to stay competitive and drive their future success in a rapidly evolving business landscape.