Italian companies are late on AI. Only 1 in 4 has development plans

Italian companies are late on AI Only 1 in 4

(Finance) – From knowledge of market trends through predictive analysis, to decision making and the automation of routine activities and processes, up to people services and resource optimization: these are just some of the areas in which models Of Artificial intelligence they can transform companies’ business models. The revolution is already underway and yet, as emerges from the data of the study carried out by Minsaitgroup company Indra specialized in the fields of Digital Transformation and of Information Technologiestogether with the CLIO Research Center in Leadership, Innovation and Organization ofLuiss Guido Carli Universityin Italy companies still have a long way to go to exploit the potential of these new applications.

Research “Artificial Intelligence in Italy – The revolution that is changing business“, presented today at Luiss campus in Viale Polaanalyzes the degree of adoption of new technologies by Italian companies, providing an in-depth picture of the motivations that push them to invest in the sector, the obstacles that slow down their wider diffusion in the national panorama as well as the main areas in which theAI is already contributing to their business. The analysis of data collected from over 500 companies has highlighted how only 22% have an AI development plan, consistent with company strategies.

“Most businesses does not yet know how to apply Artificial Intelligence in the development of its business, nor does it have any plans to integrate this technology. In many cases, there is not even a solid technology foundation to support agile AI implementation,” he said Pedro García, CEO of Minsait in Italy.

However, the Italian business world says it is aware of the importance of the challenge to guide and fully exploit the contribution of technology. 52% of the companies interviewed have already launched AI projects: with the aim of guiding related initiatives to evolve towards data based models. Far from replacing the traditional version, where there is still a lot of value to be exploited, generative AI has also become the multiplier for the diffusion of use cases and to accelerate its entry into companies.

It is theoperational efficiency the main reason (25%) underlying the application of new models within Italian companies, as a lever to improve their competitiveness, followed by the desire to consolidate the experience of customers and citizens with whom they interact (20%). Only 13% use AI techniques for more disruptive purposessuch as the transformation of the business model and/or the offering of products and services.

Businesses show a particular interest in the use of AI-based models in the legal sector (50%), focused in particular on extensive document management and analysis, in the marketing and sales area (45%), but also in the Information Technology (IT) and Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) areas with around 45% AI use cases used in both contexts. Today, in fact, AI can support IT departments both in terms of code writing tools and for infrastructure management and IT security, while in ESG it can help create systems with greater performance and more sophisticated levels of monitoring.

The factors that slow down the implementation of new techniques are mainly the lack of skills and professionals specialized in AI (19%) and the lack of technological enablers (16%). It is therefore not surprising that the figures of AI Researcher and Data Scientist are the most sought after on the job market: among the companies that have created specific programs, three out of four declare they are looking for these talents.

“The pervasive impact of new technologies on the economic and social fabric must be fully understood so that they can be applied in the best possible way. Luiss is committed to the development of education and research programs, from an interdisciplinary perspective, to train the talents of the future, capable of acting as enablers for businesses and responding with competence and agility to the needs of the business”, he observed Irene Finocchi, Advisor to the Rector for Digital Transformation and Director of the Three-Year Study Course in Management and Artificial Intelligence at Luiss University.

Regardless of the size of organizations, 65% still do not have an adequate technological infrastructurewith the exception of the banking sector, where 80% of companies are already highly enabled. Among the most “infrastructured” companies, there is a clear preference for keeping market sensitive data “in house”, limiting themselves to “hybrid” infrastructures without transferring them completely to the public cloud. At the basis of these choices, there is the need to control one’s data and perhaps also the lack of trust in entrusting them to external services: more than 95% of companies have on-premise infrastructures – managed through local networks – or hybrid.

Artificial Intelligence, and in particular generative AI, requires constant updating on applicable regulations and clear guidelines and principles to facilitate its development, use and implementation. However, 60% of the companies interviewed for the Minsait-Luiss study admits not having correct knowledge of the legislative framework and 13% fear its instability. The recent approval of the AI ​​Act by the European Union represents a first, serious intervention to balance opportunities and innovation, to manage the risks and main challenges linked to the introduction of new technologies. Responsible AI, however, cannot only be a task of the legislator and regulator: the responsibility is joint and requires a strong public-private partnership between the business system, the academic world, civil society and public institutions.