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IBM Study: Canadian CEOs Embrace AI for Job Creation



IBM at Think
Canadian CEOs are prioritizing generative AI to maintain and enhance their competitive edge, according to a new study from IBM. At the annual THINK conference last week, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna announced updates to the IBM watsonx AI and data platform one year after its introduction, as well as upcoming data and automation capabilities designed to make AI more open, cost effective, and flexible for businesses.

MARKHAM, ON, May 29, 2024 /CNW/ — A new study by the IBM (NYSE: IBM) Institute for Business Value highlights the transformative impact of AI on Canadian businesses, showcasing how generative AI is driving job creation and enabling CEOs to take bold risks to stay ahead of the competition. The study reveals that more than half of Canadian CEOs are hiring for roles that did not exist last year, thanks to the advancements in AI technology.

Canadian CEOs are increasingly prioritizing generative AI to enhance their competitive edge. At the recent THINK conference, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna unveiled updates to the IBM watsonx AI and data platform, emphasizing new data and automation capabilities designed to make AI more open, cost-effective, and flexible for businesses.

The study, which included responses from 3,000 CEOs across 30 countries, found that 64% of Canadian CEOs believe that having the most advanced generative AI capabilities is crucial for maintaining a competitive advantage—surpassing the global average of 59%. Additionally, 62% of Canadian CEOs acknowledge that the productivity gains from automation justify the associated risks, and 72% are prepared to take more risks than their competitors to secure their market position.

“We are at a tipping point with generative AI as Canadian business leaders transition from experimentation to integration that delivers real business impact,” said Craig Eaket, Managing Partner, IBM Consulting Canada. “While there are challenges, the opportunity for increased productivity and business value is extraordinary.”

The study also highlights significant workforce changes driven by generative AI. Although more than half of Canadian CEOs have not yet fully assessed AI’s impact on their employees, they anticipate workforce growth of nearly 6% over the next three years. Despite this optimism, 58% of CEOs report difficulties in filling key technology roles, underscoring the need for skilled talent.

Furthermore, the findings show that Canadian CEOs excel in AI governance, with 48% expressing confidence in their governance plans, the highest among the surveyed countries. This strong governance framework is essential for effective AI implementation and business transformation.

Other key insights from the study include:

  • Customer Experience: Only 22% of Canadian CEOs see customer experience as crucial for enterprise transformation, below the global average of 30%.
  • Efficiency and Cost Savings: 35% of Canadian CEOs prioritize efficiency and cost savings as the primary objectives for AI deployment, compared to the global average of 26%.
  • Technology Modernization: 43% of Canadian CEOs are focused on technology modernization over the next three years, 9% higher than the global average.
  • Ecosystem and Partnerships: 34% of Canadian CEOs are prioritizing their ecosystem and partnerships, higher than the global average of 24%.

To explore the full study and discover actionable strategies for navigating generative AI adoption, visit IBM’s official download page. For more information about IBM Canada, visit IBM Canada.

Study Methodology: The IBM Institute for Business Value, in collaboration with Oxford Economics, conducted interviews with 3,000 CEOs from over 30 countries and 26 industries from December 2023 through April 2024. These interviews focused on business priorities, leadership, technology, talent, partnering, regulation, industry disruption, and enterprise transformation.

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