Friday, 30 April 2021 12:28

Juniper: APAC more confident using AI than Europe and North America

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A survey conducted by Juniper Networks reveals that businesses in Asia Pacific feel more confident and trust artificial intelligence (AI) more than in North America or Europe. AI has its own sets of challenges, but Asia Pacific respondents are keen to overcome it.

Consumers and enterprises want to use artificial intelligence (AI) to a greater extent—and executives have prioritised it for 2021—but challenges have hindered its actual adoption, according to a survey conducted by Juniper Networks.

Respondents in Asia Pacific (APAC) region displayed greater levels of trust toward AI, describing it will “play a bigger role in their lives going forward”, than their counterparts in North America or Europe, the study highlighted.

The research found that 99% of APAC respondents feel their organisation would benefit from integrating AI into their daily operations, product, and services. 42% of the respondents reported that 50% or more of their operational decisions are currently assisted by AI decisioning compared with 23% respondents in North America.

Customer Service is reported "as the most common business area currently utilising AI. This has helped drive broader acceptance and trust, while also accelerating AI adoption and fuelling the demand for employees skilled in AI development. With digital technology benefitting how enterprises and individuals operate in the region, respondents in Asia (71%) are more open to seeing AI as their co-worker of the future than in North America (54%)."

While the adoption and development of AI in Asia Pacific is growing rapidly, Juniper’s research show that respondents are looking to overcome challenges, primarily in the following areas:

AI-Ready Technology Stacks: Respondents ranked “developing AI models and data sets that can be used across the company as the top technology-related challenge.” There is a need for stronger infrastructure – including data, cloud and networking capabilities – and talent to work with AI systems, as more than half of executives (74%) are likely to collect telemetry data to enhance AI to improve user experience.

Workforce Readiness: 48% of APAC respondents’ organisations are struggling with preparing and expanding their workforce to integrate with AI systems. Providing tools and opportunities that help employees apply AI skills is a top priority for leaders, while developing plans and metrics to expand employee skill sets and recruiting pipeline are also of importance. Meanwhile, C-level respondents reported they feel it is more of a priority to hire people to develop AI capabilities within an organisation than it is to train end users to operate the tools themselves.

AI Governance: 75% of APAC respondents reported that AI has been identified as a priority by their organisation’s leadership team for their FY21 strategic plan and 87% of executives agree cross-functional executive sponsorship and involvement is critical for AI to integrate into their products and services. Despite acknowledgement from respondents, only 3% of executives reported that they have identified a company-wide AI leader who oversees AI strategy and governance.

Although AI poses a set of challenges, Juniper’s research shows that “organisations that have already adopted and harnessed the power of AI are showing real and meaningful outcomes.”

The survey revealed sales and marketing, as well as finance and accounting, are common business areas where AI is utilised. Positive changes like operational efficiencies and enhanced user experience were seen.

The research “shows that as organisations scale their AI capabilities and integrate their employees into their solutions, user satisfaction steadily rose and the time reduced allows employees to focus on value-add tasks they could not previously accomplish.”

Juniper conducted a global survey of 700 IT decision makers with direct involvement in their organisation’s AI and/or machine learning plans or actual deployments to assess the attitudes, perceptions and concerns of the technology.

Sharon Mandell, SVP and CIO, Juniper Networks, says: “When I see interest in an emerging technology, I always need to remind people there are pitfalls if it’s not managed correctly. For artificial intelligence, there is no doubt that there is light at the end of the challenge-filled tunnel, and significant potential to generate even more meaningful and incredible outcomes than we have seen so far.

By focusing on upskilling their workforce, investing in strong infrastructure—including data, cloud and networking capabilities—and implementing enterprise-wide AI governance, organisations are preparing for the digital workforce of tomorrow”, she explains.

Ang Thiam Guan, VP & GM, APAC, Juniper Networks, comments: “From chatbots in customer service, to discovering new areas of operational efficiencies, and intelligent networking solutions that facilitate seamless transition between devices, these used cases define what it means to work in an experience-first era.

As the integration of AI continues to deepen in the modern workplace, organisations in Asia Pacific need to have the right mix of talent, AI-driven technology, and IT governance. This will provide business leaders with the foundation to build an agile, digital-centric workforce who are ready to embrace change and deliver exceptional experiences for their business, customers and communities”, he suggests.

Juniper’s mission “is to leverage AI to simplify operations and deliver superior experiences for enterprises, service providers and cloud providers.”

From wired and wireless access and SD-WAN to campus and data centres and multi-cloud environments, Juniper’s portfolio, it claims, “brings unprecedented simplicity, reliability, and security to enterprise networks.”

Automated network monitoring, management and troubleshooting from client-to-cloud provides better insight, Juniper maintains, “so that operators can focus on higher level tasks and end users can focus on consuming value – without the need to hire outside people with AI expertise.”


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Kenn Anthony Mendoza

Kenn Anthony Mendoza is the newest member of the iTWire team. Kenn is also a contributing writer for South China Morning Post Style, and has written stories on Korean entertainment, Asian and European royalty, Millionaires and Billionaires, and LGBTQIA+ issues. He has been published in Philippine newspapers, magazines, and online sites: Tatler PhilippinesManila BulletinCNN Philippines LifePhilippine StarManila Times, and The Daily Tribune. Kenn now covers all aspects of technology news for iTWire.com.

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