Artificial Intelligence is the most marketed, yet ill-defined technology categories being packaged by enterprise these days. CEOs might think overexposure could lead to fatigue with a healthy dose of skepticism about the adoption of AI.

IFS conducted a recent research polling 600 business leaders globally; to take a closer look into the way the department heads response to AI adoption. Business leaders across industries are convinced AI will be an essential component of their companies’ successful digital transformation. In fact, about 90% of respondents reported having some plans to implement AI in different parts of their business. That’s merely a statistic. Whether motivated by the fear of missing out or clear-eyed optimism, business leaders already seem sold on AI’s promise.

According to the report, industrial automation remains the most commonly reported area of investment, with 44.6% planning AI projects, while inventory planning logistics and customer relationship management tied for second place at 38.9%.

Companies are witnessing many real-world examples where technology is augmenting the existing decision-making processes by providing users with more accurate, timely, and pertinent information. In today’s disruptive economy, converging technologies such as RPA, AI, and IoT are bolstering a new form of business automation, providing companies that are brave enough with the services and tools they require to be more competitive to outflank larger competitors.

When enquired about how they plan to use AI, 60.6% of respondents to the IFS study confirmed that they expected it would help them make increase worker productivity. Just under half, 47.9%, claimed that they would use AI to add value to services and products they sell to customers. About 18.1% confirmed proactively using it to replace existing workers.

The data suggests that business and industrial leaders are enthusiastically planning to involve AI in their business decisions. They may still be coming to terms with the implications of the resulting transformation. While a majority cites increased productivity to support and justify AI investments, many executives aren’t looking ahead to the inevitably reduced demand for labor. The report also indicates that its unlikely consumption levels or the market demand are expected to increase in proportion to productivity. This refers to the situation that if technologies like RPA can actually live up to the productivity hype, there will be labor imbalance. Generalized confidence in any particular outcome should never be mistaken for proof of that outcome.

Experts argue on how stark is the failure of business leaders to think about the effect that technology could have on workers. Considering that while a majority of respondents anticipated productivity increases from AI, just 29.3% predicted AI would lead to a massive reduction in headcount in their industry. This surely indicates a mighty amiss regarding the AI’s power to transform the operations of the firms and the long term effect it would have on the employees.

C-Suite needs to analyze the long term effect of AI implementation, before adopting it, to ensure a balanced digital transformation journey.