Bengaluru: As artificial intelligence (AI) takes centrestage in most companies, half of all employees are expected to be equipped with AI skills in the next 6-10 years, according to a Microsoft India study released on Monday. This is nearly one-and-a-half times more than current estimates.
In India, 100% of the leading AI companies said they are actively building the skills of their workers or have plans to do so. Over 93% employees at these firms have already been part of re-skilling programs. Notably, 98% of the employees surveyed among all the AI companies were highly motivated for reskilling.
The combination of skilling and AI deployment is helping businesses succeed with 94% of senior executives from leading businesses already seeing value from AI deployment. These businesses are cultivating employee skills across every category — ranging from advanced data analysis and critical thinking to communications and creativity.
The study revealed that leading AI firms in India were looking for ways to expand their employees’ digital capabilities to explore new avenues for growth. 93% of them were actively hiring skilled workers or had plans to, to complement their internal skilling programs.
Interestingly, the overall number of Indian employees interested in skilling (85%) is more than double of that of employees across all surveyed markets (38%).
The research surveyed employees and leaders within large enterprises across industry verticals in India and 19 other countries, to look at the skills needed to thrive as AI becomes increasingly adopted by businesses.
Both senior executives and employees surveyed found a direct link between having the skills needed to thrive in an AI world and the value organizations gain from their AI implementations. The research further revealed that employees are keen to acquire AI relevant skills that are growing in importance and are of value to them personally and to the business.
“AI is at the heart of digital transformation which has accelerated at an extraordinary pace and will continue to play a critical role in helping businesses be more agile, resilient and competitive during this time,” said Rohini Srivathsa, National Technology Officer, Microsoft India. “However, the path of unlocking the full potential of AI lies in combining its deployment with skilling initiatives that focus on both tech and soft skills.”
The research findings revealed that mature AI firms are more confident about the return on AI and skills. Over 93% of senior executives surveyed from these companies were confident of deriving value from their AI initiatives.