CEOs understand it’s essential to find better ways to serve and win customers, and technology is the enabler. However, many leaders are not currently doing this in a seamless way, and they are at risk of their competitors delivering better value in a quicker timeframe.

The world is entering the fourth industrial revolution – an intelligence revolution that has AI as its cornerstone. Our research suggests that in 2018 AI’s value will not be in creating entirely new industries (that’s for the next decade) but in empowering organisations to add more value to the ways they can better serve their customer base.

No wonder our results show 77% of Australia’s CEOs believe changes in core technologies – AI, robotics or blockchain ¬– will be disruptive for businesses over the next five years.

Yet only 10% are really clear on how AI and robotics can improve their customers’ experiences.

That improvement is coming in three main ways:

  1. Automating processes too complex for older technologies;
  2. Identifying trends in historical data to create business value;
  3. Providing forward-looking intelligence to strengthen human decisions.

AI will utilise data to assist with many tasks that we currently do ourselves. Its most pressing advantage is the ability to analyse data for customer insights that can be used to tailor experiences, products and services for customers for that magic moment or ‘wow’ factor to maximise value for them.

The barrier for leaders is the rapid rate of technology change, with 73% of Australia’s CEOs seeing the speed of technology change as a top threat to growth.

The added difficulty for leaders is the change required to processes, systems, products and messages.

This rapid advancement of technology means it’s also necessary to change how organisations relate to customers, change their models and change their structure and design.

Those who embrace the opportunities of new technology will make better and longer lasting strategic decisions to serve and win customers, and grow their market share.

Explore why embracing the intelligence revolution is a courageous decision to make for 2018 via our PwC CEO Survey results.