Barriers to AI uptake among manufacturers revealed

Posted on 17 Feb 2020 by The Manufacturer

A lacking data infrastructure and inability to effectively analyse vast swathes of intelligence, are among a host of challenges that are forcing global manufacturing firms to rethink their AI implementation projects.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock
A lack of “proper technology and data infrastructure” is barrier to AI uptake – Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Although many manufacturing firms are making significant strides in AI adoption, those in the middle of this transformation are being forced to re-evaluate their strategies, owing to a lack of “proper technology and data infrastructure”, according to a report commissioned by Plutoshift.

More than 60% of manufacturing firms surveyed, said they are being forced to reassess the pace and direction of their AI adoption piece because they are struggling to overcome challenges surrounding data collection and maturity, defining realistic outcomes, and managing their budgets based on those factors, according to the ‘Breaking Ground on Implementing AI’ report.

Plutoshift, who monitor automated performance for industrial workflows and who commissioned the report, surveyed 250 global manufacturing firms.

It found that the leading reason for firms rethinking their AI implementation plans was a tangible lack of data infrastructure – while more than 80% said they could not “automatically and continuously” act on their data intelligence.

More than 72% said it had taken more time than they had anticipated to realise the technical/data collection infrastructure necessary to benefit from the business advantages afforded by artificial intelligence.

Other key findings:

  • 57% of global manufacturing firms said they had implemented AI projects with a clear goal, while almost 20% were acting on industry or peer pressure to utilise the technology
  • 17% said they are in the full implementation stage of their AI project
  • 62% said it had taken more time than anticipated to acquire internal buy-in and commitment in implementing AI
  • 60% said their company had struggled to reach a consensus on “a focused, practical strategy” for deploying the technology

“Companies are forging ahead with the adoption of AI at an enterprise level,” said Prateek Joshi, CEO and founder of Plutoshift. “But despite the progress that some companies are making with their AI implementations, the reality that’s often under-reported is that AI initiatives are loosely defined.

“Companies in the middle of this transformation usually lack the proper technology and data infrastructure. In the end, these implementations can fail to meet expectations.

“The insights in this report show us that companies would strongly benefit by taking a more measured and grounded approach toward implementing AI,” she added.