Businessman - 3406030_1920 - Image by Pete Linforth from PixabayGlobal research from Celigo suggests enterprise IT and operations leaders are realising positive results from early AI deployments. Benefits include greater productivity and efficiency, enhanced customer experience and reduced costs. As such, 97% of global enterprise IT and Operations leaders will increase their AI expenditure over the next 18 months.

The “AI Trends in IT and Operations Report,” surveyed more than 1,200 global enterprise IT and Operations leaders. Nearly half of the respondents are already using AI to enhance customer service/support. As a result, significant improvements have been seen in productivity and efficiency.

Scott Henderson, Chief Technology Officer at Celig
Scott Henderson, Chief Technology Officer at Celig

“The report results confirm the AI operations revolution is well underway,” said Scott Henderson, chief technology officer at Celigo. “While AI has quickly become an integral component for successful IT and Operations functions, it is more important than ever for enterprises to have an organisation-wide strategy and implementation roadmap. This will inform investments to improve the efficacy of AI deployments, empower non-technical business users to implement AI solutions. In addition to reducing obstacles that inhibit widespread adoption.”

Benefits of AI for businesses

The report revealed that IT and operations leaders are experiencing the greatest benefits of AI usage. However, other departments are also leveraging the technology.

  • Nearly half of those surveyed said their organisation is actively using AI to automate Customer Service/Support. Research and Development (41%) and Marketing (37%) were the next areas seeing positive outcomes from AI implementations.
  • Just under 50% of respondents reported their organisations saw marked improvement in productivity and efficiency. 45% benefitted from optimised operations. AI usage led to enhanced customer experience and helped reduce costs at nearly 40% of the global enterprises surveyed.
  • IT and operations leaders are now eager to utilise AI to transform all business processes. In fact, IT Services (59%) was the most prioritised sector to address by the end of 2025 among those surveyed. This was followed by analytics (52%), data processing (51%) and marketing automation (32%).

Challenges of AI – and overcoming them

Despite the positive approach to AI and spending intent, IT and Operations leaders still face several challenges for business implementations.

56% cited security concerns surrounding the use of AI as the most significant obstacle to widespread adoption and workplace acceptance. Insufficient education also emerged as a barrier to AI success. 47% said a lack of understanding of what AI can do for their organisation hampered implementation efforts. Additionally, 46% reported that employees and teams fear their jobs and functions will be replaced by AI.

While the research exposed integration challenges, it also showed organisations are actively addressing these issues to accelerate transformation. For example, 82% of global enterprises are following an AI strategy or roadmap for implementation.

Success essentials

Celigo’s research made clear that optimised data collection and integration of SaaS applications are essential to AI success. This is despite the 52% who said connecting data across applications is the most significant challenge to AI training and workflows within their organisation.

While IT and operations leaders recognise the importance of an integration strategy, there are varying approaches to integrating disparate systems. According to the research, 36% of those surveyed rely on an Integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS). Another 36% have chosen direct API connections with various systems, and 17% depend on stream processing frameworks.

A significant 68% of respondents support a “Citizen Developer” mindset to automate front- and back-office operations. 53% are already allowing non-technical business users to implement AI solutions themselves without heavily relying on overburdened and underfunded IT teams for support. The report indicates a foundational integration strategy establishes the appropriate safeguards that enable Citizen Developers to deploy AI applications while maintaining proper IT governance.

According to Jotham Ty, founder and CEO of Gappify, “AI is game changing. I haven’t seen a wave of new technology over the last 25 years where it has been more critical to partner with experts on implementation.”

“Not only is the technology still evolving, but the governance and compliance implications may be too high to manage in-house. Enterprises should consider prioritising investments in AI with proven solution providers. To achieve quicker time to value and ensure their AI implementations have a solid foundation.”

Enterprise Times: What this means for businesses

This global research from Celigo suggests that the AI revolution is here to stay. According to the report, the retail sector can benefit immensely from the revolution. This is because AI has the potential to automate customer service, streamline operations, and personalise marketing strategies. This puts retail companies in a unique position to leverage AI for competitive advantage. However, there are two issues with this optimistic view of the AI revolution.

The report correctly notes that AI technology is still evolving and maturing into new areas of opportunities. However, the governance and compliance infrastructure required to support the technology is still lacking. It could be argued that it is still playing catch-up with AI developments.

The report also correctly identifies barriers to AI success rooted in lack of education, employee fears, security concerns. However, one significant barrier the report fails to explore is the poor quality of data in many retail enterprises. AI desperately needs clean, quality data to ensure the machine learning generates positive AI results. However, many retailers continue to have challenges acquiring, managing and utilising data.

Data quality and silos continue to remain major issues with brands and retailers. Unfortunately, the report does not address how retailers and brands can make their data fit for the purpose of enabling AI. As a result, this remains a major obstacle to brands and retailers effectively embracing the technology.


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