Growing adoption of AI has to be balanced by improvements in tech governance to boost AI trust and address cyber liabilities.

In a global April 2022 survey of 700 senior IT leaders around the world with direct involvement in their organization’s AI and/or ML plans or deployments, enterprises polled had largely moved past proof-of-concepts and limited trials, and were already implementing such tech across their organizations in the last 12 months.

However, the respondents indicated that a shortage of human talent and ‘immature’ governance policies continued to impede AI growth amid cybersecurity, data privacy and compliance issues.

In the Asia Pacific region (APAC), 92% of respondents indicated that their organization was already utilizing AI—compared to 42% in the previous year, with 52% agreeing to prompts that the tech adoption will “assist in reducing risk and increasing quality” at work.

Report findings
The survey data showed 23% of APAC respondents indicated a heavy reliance on AI to perform tasks, which may indicate a possible lack of trust in the technology. Also, among global IT leaders surveyed, 95% agreed to prompts that “effective policies are crucial to stay ahead of future legislation”, and 61% of APAC respondents believed more needed to be done to effectively govern AI as its use grows.

Other findings:

  • 51% of respondents reported their organizations were at a more advanced growing stage of AI governance maturity, higher than reported in EMEA and North American counterparts.
  • 54% of IT leaders in APAC surveyed indicated that they felt AI will allow employees to focus on being more innovative, while 50% chose “increase their engagement” and 48% chose “gain new skills”.
    • They indicated the top risks from inadequate oversight of AI as “accelerated hacking or AI terrorism” (44%); privacy (41%); regulation compliance (24%) and loss of human agency (27%).
    • To keep up with AI growth, the leaders were providing the tools and opportunities to apply newly acquired AI skills (38%), updating performance metrics to include AI (45%), developing a workforce plan that identifies new skills and roles (40%), and changing learning and development frameworks (50%).
    • 96% of IT leaders in APAC surveyed indicated that in the next 12 months, AI will assist in reducing risk and increasing quality within their organization, with Networking/Cloud (23%), IT Infrastructure (25%) and Supply Chain (13%) as the business functions thought to have the greatest potential to derive benefits from implementing AI.

According to Ming Kai Lee, Head of Systems Engineering (APAC), Juniper Networks, which commissioned the survey, while the technology has essentially been rolled out and adopted at healthy implementation rates, “the critical next step is to manage organizations’ readiness to use AI responsibly by implementing essential governance protocols that not only protect enterprises, but also augments employees’ trust in the solution. It must be a cyclical process of execution with governance and policies updated regularly to address and reduce liabilities.” In benefiting from AI, enterprises need to prioritize managing the technology’s usage growth with proper governance to stay ahead of regulation and minimize potential negative impacts.