Global survey shows businesses earn $3.5 for every $1 in AI, with generative AI accelerating investment and returns

Businesses are catching the AI wave with serious cash, suggests a fresh IDC survey of over 2,000 global leaders, backed by Microsoft's coin but running independently. This isn't just hype - the stats are eye-popping, with companies claiming they're making a killing on their AI spend, to the tune of $3.50 for every buck invested. That's like turning your morning coffee fund into a weekend getaway.

Now, let’s talk shop about ROI, the bread and butter of any investment. IBM's got their own numbers, a modest 5.9% return, which makes AI look like a gamble next to the usual 10% gold standard. But this new IDC snapshot shows companies might be sitting on a goldmine, especially with generative AI's sizzle grabbing the boardroom's attention.

Cutting through the buzz, 71% are already rolling with AI, and another 22% are getting in on the action within the year. Speed's the name of the game here, with most AI projects going from zero to hero in less than 12 months, a pace that outstrips old school tech.

IDC’s Ritu Jyoti dropped the inside scoop that this is the first time they’ve asked the big shots to pin down their AI wins with hard numbers. They're reporting like it's going out of style, with options from double to quintuple returns, or even more for the high rollers.

Yet, with AI, it's not all rainbows. The IDC warns to take these glitzy ROI numbers with a grain of salt. The current AI craze might be puffing up the stats, and not everyone's crossing their t's when it comes to tallying up the wins and losses.

What's more, companies are so jazzed about AI that they're playing favorites, snipping budgets from other spots to feed their AI ambitions. We're talking about a trend where businesses shave off an average of 11% from areas like admin to double down on AI.

Generative AI’s the belle of the ball this year, yanking AI out of the geek squad’s hands and putting it under the spotlight. Execs are drooling over it, predicting a worldwide feeding frenzy for AI tech.

BCG’s brainiacs, with help from GPT-4, are zipping through tasks 40% faster, says a brainy collab study from Harvard, Wharton, and MIT. And while it’s still too soon to slap a price tag on generative AI’s money-making chops, the 18% bump in customer smiles, worker productivity, and market share from traditional AI can't be ignored.

But it's not all smooth sailing. The IDC flags risks like data leaks, shaky AI management, and governance gaps that could rain on the AI parade.

Jyoti's crystal ball sees generative AI pumping a colossal $10 trillion into the global economy over the next decade. That's a lot of zeroes.

Microsoft’s Alysa Taylor chimes in, saying AI’s not just for fixing old tech but a springboard to fast-track innovation and value. With AI, docs can dodge burnout, coders can cruise through sprints, and retailers can mind-meld with customers.

Bottom line: companies are seeing green with AI, expecting returns in just over a year. They’re writing, simulating, and automating their way to profits, with 62% already using generative AI. The hitch? They need the brains to run it. Microsoft's response? Schooling six million folks worldwide.

So, while the excitement’s electric, with wallets out and ready, it pays to remember the old adage – look before you leap, especially into the AI abyss.

Read next: Apple's Secret AI Sauce: Cook Hints at a Game-Changing Update!
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