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AI set to lead business decision-making

Research suggests more and more business decisions will be automated by artificial intelligence, making employees and executives less relevant

Almost three-quarters of UK business executives and workers think that, by 2035, artificial intelligence (AI) will significantly speed up the decision-making process and make workers more productive. 

That is the finding of a Coleman Parkes survey for Citrix’s Work 2035 report, which asked the opinions of more than 500 senior executives and 1,000 staff from large and mid-sized enterprises.

Almost three-quarters of professionals (72%) believe that by 2035, technology and AI will generate more revenue for their organisation than human workers and will also absorb more of their organisation’s annual operating costs. Three-quarters of professionals believe that in 2035, AI investment will be the biggest driver of growth for their organisation.

Over half (58%) of the professionals who took part in the study expect AI to make most business decisions by 2035. As such, they feel AI could remove the need for a traditional senior management team. While leaders are much more likely to forecast an augmentation or human-tech partnership model of leadership, a third of employees believe the leadership will be partially or completely replaced by technology, the study found.

The majority of business leaders (82%) believe that by 2035 every organisation will have a chief artificial intelligence (CAI) officer working in a human-machine team with the CEO to make business decisions. The survey reported that 90% of leaders expect to have a central AI department overseeing all areas of the business.

The study concluded that business leaders are looking forward to a world of productive partnerships between people and technology, where permanent employment is still the bedrock of work culture and technology nudges workers to be their best selves. However, it also highlighted employees’ fears of a more unstable future, where technology is a rival that will replace them.

To bridge this disconnect, the study urged business leaders to address the significant upskilling and augmentation that will be required to elevate their workforces and communicate a compelling vision in which technology plays an additive, not a subtractive, role for employees.

It also predicted that the organisations that will thrive will be those with leaders who align their positive future vision with the needs and expectations of employees, taking workers with them on the road to the future of work and enabling a transformational human-tech partnership.

Citrix recommended that businesses cultivate a workforce that is empowered to adapt to changing conditions, by providing them with inspiring experiences in which they can more easily leverage intelligent technologies, solve problems in creative ways and make decisions more quickly.

Darren Fields, vice-president for UK and Ireland at Citrix, said: “By adopting more flexible work models and using technology to better support workers, organisations can not only empower staff to work more productively in the way that suits them, but also free up employees to focus on more meaningful and rewarding work.”

Read more about AI in business

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  • At the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, Wolfgang Bauriedel, executive director at Russell Reynolds Associates Inc, talked of IT trends that will transform the enterprise.

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