87% of Indian firms to hike AI spend by 10% in 3 years: Report


Nearly 87 per cent of enterprises in India are likely to increase annual artificial intelligence (AI) spending by more than 10 per cent in the next three years, a new report showed Tuesday.

Within providers, too, 64 per cent have AI and Machine Learning (ML) as a core element for many of their products, as against 56 per cent of their global counterparts, according to the report by Bain & Company, in collaboration with Microsoft and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, unveiled the report in the presence of top executives from the companies.

The report said that approximately 80 per cent of enterprises in the country have at least one AI model in production, indicating an extensive penetration of AI/machine learning (ML). “While the availability of data and cloud-based infrastructure have aided AI adoption, concerns related to data security, infrastructure, and management continue to be the most significant barriers for enterprises,” said Velu Sinha, Partner, Bain & Company and co-author of the report.

The thrust in AI adoption for enterprises is maximum in sectors such as communication, over-the-top (OTT) and gaming, technology, and financial services.

Further, more than 90 per cent of digital native companies in consumer packaged goods (CPG) and retail and financial services have demonstrated AI/ML adoption. Nearly 94 per cent of AI adopters are likely to increase the share of AI/ML-based applications in the upcoming three years, the report said.

Cloud platforms and Internet of Things (IoT) providers have emerged ahead among the other segments of providers on the ‘AI Maturity Index’. More than 80 per cent of the AI/ML features introduced by cloud platforms in India reached production scale and exceeded the expected gains.

“AI offers a huge canvas for enabling homegrown innovation and we have an opportunity to make AI work at scale for India, enabling investment, job creation and inclusion for all,” said Rohini Srivathsa, National Technology Officer, Microsoft India.

While Indian enterprises are keen to build their AI/ML models in-house, they exhibit a preference to buy the scale cloud infrastructure and AI work benches, which helps them to experiment at will on an elastic compute-storage enablement, the report mentioned.

“As the AI landscape is rapidly maturing in India, companies need to understand how to leverage AI to drive business value,” said Dr Shubo Ray, President, IAMAI.