AI adoption and innovation across sectors and functions
The survey, which examined IT leaders’ responses to AI advances in their organizations, found that more than 8 out of 10 IT leaders surveyed in India (85%) believe that their existing IT infrastructure is ready for the demands of AI. In contrast, only 56% in Asia-Pacific have certainty about their infrastructure’s ability for AI.
This confidence reflects the rapid adoption and innovation of AI across various sectors and functions in India, with more than 90% of the IT decision-makers polled in India seeking to benefit from the advantages of AI and already using or planning to use it across multiple vital functions.
“AI, especially generative AI, has made significant strides, and its adoption in India is growing tremendously. AI will catalyze intelligent applications, empowering organizations to thrive in a dynamic digital landscape. Embracing AI is the key to resilience, competitive advantage, and sustainable growth,” said Manoj Paul, Managing Director, Equinix India.
Indian organizations are using or planning to use AI in various areas, such as:
- IT operations (93%)
- E-commerce (93%)
- Customer experience (92%)
Quality control/management (73%) is the most popular area for digital twin among Indian IT leaders, followed by operational performance optimization (63%), product development and re-design (56%), predictive maintenance (54%), systems planning (51%), and logistics planning (47%).
AI breakthroughs in healthcare
One sector that has witnessed remarkable AI breakthroughs in India is healthcare. AI solutions are being developed and deployed to improve diagnosis, treatment, and patient outcomes.
For example, harrison.ai, an Australian-based healthcare AI company that has expanded its operations to India, leverages secure hosting of its compute and data storage platforms to enable hybrid cloud models as required to move massive data sets on which it trains and develops its AI solutions.
“We rely on a high-speed and direct connection to enable hybrid cloud models as required to move remarkably large data sets on which we train and develop our AI solutions. This digital infrastructure enables us to tackle bigger healthcare problems – from medical imaging solutions to new AI healthcare solutions requiring more data and processing – helping to improve the standard of global healthcare and achieve our vision to impact one million lives per day,” said Aengus Tran, CEO & Co-Founder at harrison.ai.
Challenges and Opportunities for India’s AI Future
As India continues to lead the AI revolution in Asia-Pacific, it also faces challenges such as talent shortage, data privacy regulations, cybersecurity threats, and ethical issues. The survey highlighted the need for education and collaboration to enable IT teams to optimize the deployment of this infrastructure, with AI and machine learning expertise being the most sought after (56%) by those growing their IT teams.
According to the survey, the top threats to business success are cyberattacks (64%), security breaches (62%), and data leaks (60%). The top barriers to AI success are data privacy regulations (58%), lack of skills (56%), and ethical concerns (54%). The top future-proofing strategies are investing in new technologies (66%), expanding to new markets (64%), and adopting hybrid cloud models (62%). The top technologies that can help bridge the digital divide are 5G (66%), AI (64%), and IoT (62%).
Moreover, as India plans to expand its digital presence globally, with 58% of Indian businesses planning to expand to new countries in the next 12 months, according to the survey, it also needs to ensure that its IT infrastructure is scalable, secure, and reliable. With continued political headwinds and changing regulatory environments, it may be assumed companies will hesitate to expand into new markets.
Despite so much complexity at stake, 69% of IT leaders report their organization plans to expand in the next year. Globally, a similar number report expanding to new regions, countries or cities—about three in 10. Asia-Pacific is most likely to expand internationally, and EMEA is most conservative in its expansion plans.
Expansion overall has held steady at the global level since 2022, but fewer IT leaders report expansion into new regions this year than last. This is where Equinix can help by providing a global platform that connects businesses to their customers, partners, and ecosystems across more than 60 markets.
AI for Businesses
India is a global leader in AI adoption and innovation, with its IT leaders showing high confidence and ambition in harnessing the power of AI. AI can bring significant benefits to businesses, such as improving efficiency, enhancing customer experience, and increasing revenue. AI also poses some challenges and threats to businesses, such as data privacy regulations, lack of skills, ethical concerns, and cyberattacks.
Therefore, businesses need to be aware of the opportunities and challenges that AI presents and adopt a balanced and strategic approach to leverage AI for their digital transformation. By doing so, they can gain a competitive edge and create value for their customers, partners, and stakeholders.