Salesforce: IT Leaders Struggle to Integrate Productive AI

According to Salesforce, a successful AI strategy relies on integrating and unifying data to achieve enterprise value, in addition to upskilling IT leaders

With IT requests within the global business landscape ever-increasing, businesses are seeking to harness AI to boost productivity.

New research conducted by Salesforce shows that 85% of IT leaders are expecting AI to increase the productivity of enterprise developers over the next three years. However, 62% also say their organisation isn’t yet equipped to harmonise data systems to fully leverage AI, which is impeding the transition and further heightening the strain on their teams

If businesses are going to unlock the full potential of AI and remain competitive in an ever-evolving market, Salesforce suggests that they must prioritise data unification and automation.

Forming a successful AI strategy

Adding to these concerns, 98% of IT organisations today report experiencing at least some degree of challenge with their digital transformation efforts, with 80% citing data silos as a concern and 72% grappling with systems that are overly dependent on one another.

In response, Salesforce suggests that a successful AI strategy relies heavily on strong data integration strategies in order to reap the benefits of improving operational efficiency, productivity and employee and customer experiences. 

AI is ultimately leading the charge. The research found that IT leaders are currently expecting a 69% increase in the average number of large language models (LLMs) they will use over the next three years. Additionally, 80% of organisations are reporting that they already use multiple predictive and generative AI (Gen AI) models.

However, whilst AI is driving business efficiencies and productivities, it is very dependent on integrated data. Only an estimated 28% of apps are connected, with 95% of IT leaders reporting integration issues impeding AI adoption, according to Salesforce.

Another crucial concern for businesses is security, with 64% of IT leaders concerned with ethical AI usage and how adopting the technology could breach business trust.

A solution that Salesforce suggests is breaking down data silos, with the company highlighting that it could provide a more seamless user experience.

Data silos are groups of data that are controlled by one department or business unit and isolated from the rest of an organisation. They are often described as significant barriers to business success, given that they prevent quick decision-making. In fact, Salesforce reports that 81% of respondents in its research reported that silos are significantly hindering digital transformation efforts.

As a result, unifying business data appears to be a more successful way to achieve AI-related strategies. 

AI to ‘ease the burden’ on struggling IT leaders

Organisations are currently struggling to connect data to AI applications, according to Salesforce, with 62% of IT leaders reporting that their business is not equipped to harmonise data systems to leverage AI.

IT teams are under immense pressure and so are struggling to integrate AI efficiently, with 98% of those surveyed facing digital transformation challenges. As a result, businesses are not able to harness AI to its full potential and are missing out on key data insights for their company or their customers.

Upskilling workers via strategic collaboration will ultimately improve AI use and allow businesses to better use automation to innovate. In fact, 85% of leaders are expecting AI to boost developer productivity.

“AI is only as powerful as the data organisations can connect to it and the outcomes they can drive from it,” says Param Kahlon, EVP and GM, Automation and Integration at Salesforce. “Fundamentally, these are integration and automation challenges organisations are facing.”

He adds: “This data shows IT leaders are increasingly aware that their ability to operationalise AI - and drive business and customer value - will be dependent on their ability to integrate it with their existing systems to create new opportunities for growth.”

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