Executives believe AI will help businesses cope with changing environments

Artificial intelligence

A new study by management consultancy AT Kearney reveals that confidence is growing among C-suite executives that technology will help businesses navigate a complex and rapidly changing environment.

In an age of increasing automation and artificial intelligence (AI), leaders recognize the differentiating role of non-technical and interpersonal skills such as creativity and leadership -- skills that are not only difficult to find but also expected to become even more important. 42 percent for example say that creativity and innovation skills are hard to find.

Shortage of these skills suggests that demand to develop AI endowed with emotional intelligence could intensify. Executives’ growing emphasis on cultivating relationships with consumers and suppliers further indicates that personal interactions are more important than ever to commercial success.

According to the study 45 percent also say technology skills are hard to find now and 52 percent expect these skills to be more important in five years.

"In an operating environment increasingly defined by multi-localism and decentralized leadership, executives are anticipating a need to increase their role in tackling societal challenges," says Paul A Laudicina, founder and chairman of AT Kearney's Global Business Policy Council and co-author of the report. "This suggests that the C-suite believes corporate social responsibility is shifting from an optional activity to a central requirement for successful corporate leadership."

Among other findings are that cybersecurity is still seen as a major area of concern, with the number of executives most concerned about it up to 49 percent this year from 40 percent in 2016. Other challenges include difficulties in adopting new technologies (38 percent) and problems with mergers and acquisitions (36 percent).

You can find out more in the full report  available from the AT Kearney site.

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