The Machine Learning Era Has Arrived
Earlier this month ServiceNow released the results of a survey it ran to better understand the state of machine learning in businesses today. The survey questioned 500 CIOs across 11 countries and 25 industries, providing a broad brush on the opinions of machine learning (ML). Let's take a look at some of the more interesting findings from the survey.
For the report, ServiceNow cut the data into an isolated a group it called "first movers," which are the 10% that were ahead of their industry peers in spending on machine learning. Companies getting into machine learning now should learn some lessons from this group by understanding where they differ significantly from the larger respondent base. The main areas of differentiation are:
- Talent -- 76% of the first movers have redefined jobs to focus on machine learning versus only 35% of others surveyed. Also, 30% of first movers have put in place plans for workforce size related to machine learning compared to 15% of others.
- Better business processes -- 72% of the first movers have developed a roadmap of future process change versus only 33% of others. They accomplished this by developing methods of monitoring mistakes made by machines and implemented policies to ensure the accuracy of the data.
- Forward looking -- The first movers are more focused on innovation than others (70% versus 54%). Also, 50% are automating routing processes and 46% are digitizing processes, compared to 33% and 27% respectively.
- Strong technology -- Across the board, the first movers were way ahead on the use of new technology. The data shows:
- Analytics -- 93% versus 62%
- Cloud -- 96% versus 53%
- Mobile -- 70% versus 50%
- IoT -- 70% versus 31%
Modernizing infrastructure is clearly a key to machine learning success
- High expectations -- 87% of first movers expect machine learning to grow the top line versus only 67% of others. The lesson here is to set the goals high and work toward them.
Overall the survey was certainly a positive view into the use of machine learning. If you're reading this and your company isn't a first mover, no worries, as only 10% of the audience of the survey was. However, the market is coming and coming fast, so take a lesson from that group: Upgrade your technology, make sure you have the right talent, clean up the data, and take advantage of machine learning.