Federal agencies are achieving demonstrable value in AI, survey shows

IT executives indicated their agencies are adopting artificial intelligence to manage and make sense of volumes of data, one-third of which have seen results within the last five years.
artificial intelligence
How IT investment strategies help - and hinder - government's adoption of cloud and AI

Almost one-half of federal government IT leaders in a new survey report their agencies are now using or planning to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to advance the work being done at their agencies.

And many are seeing tangible results. Among those using AI, more than one-third (37 percent) said their agency has been achieving demonstrable value using AI within the past five or more years. Another 25 percent expect to achieve demonstrable value from AI within the next one to two years.

The findings are based on a just-released survey which sought to uncover current and future IT investment strategies of federal agencies and how investment choices are helping — and potentially hindering — the ability of agencies to take advantage of emerging technologies.

The report, produced by FedScoop and underwritten by IBM, found that agencies which are investing more aggressively in a combination of cloud computing models are also demonstrating greater capability to adopt emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence, than agencies still investing primarily in on-site, agency-managed data centers.

More than half (54 percent) of executives at agencies currently using or considering artificial intelligence or machine learning, for instance, also say they invest primarily in government community, public/commercial or hybrid models. In contrast, 68 percent of those not using or considering AI say their agencies are investing primarily in on-site or privately management government data centers.

IBM disruptive study, AI

Source: (FedScoop)

Asked how artificial intelligence and machine learning could add the most value to their agency’s mission or initiatives, nearly 6 in 10 executives surveyed (57 percent) cited the need to “manage and make sense of the growing volume of data.”

Executives also see AI and machine learning helping with other pressing concerns, including the need to manage and gain insights from vast amounts of imagery, augmenting workforce decision-making and combating cyberthreats.

AI, IBM study

Source: (FedScoop)

More broadly, the study revealed agencies are in the midst of shifting their IT investment focus increasingly toward hybrid and multi-cloud computing model.

“Multi-cloud, especially, is becoming the ultimate destination in infrastructure and an agency’s approach to architecture,” said Andras Szakal, VP and CTO of US Federal at IBM. “The ability to use containers and AI is ultimately where all those agencies want to go. It makes sense that those using a hybrid model show more proficiency in using those technologies.”

The findings are based on a survey of 169 prequalified federal agency IT and program management executives. The survey examined five IT and cloud deployment models agencies are investing in most; how they envision their IT investment portfolio will look two years from now; and how those investments strategies correlate to their ability to adopt modern technology practices.

The report, “How IT investment strategies help — and hinder — government’s adoption of cloud and AI,” also offers six recommendations for agencies as they reconsider their IT investment portfolio, based on the findings.

Download the full report, “How IT investment strategies help — and hinder — government’s adoption of cloud and AI,” for detailed findings. 

This article was produced by FedScoop and underwritten by IBM.

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