- Budget restrictions represent the top barrier to emerging tech adoption for 1 in 4 retail industry leaders, according to a recent Honeywell survey. The poll, conducted by market research company OnePoll, surveyed 1,000 retail industry directors.
- Nearly one-third of leaders struggle to show the business value of emerging tech, which further hinders adoption. Another impediment to adoption is a lack of in-house talent, which proves challenging for 1 in 5 leaders.
- Despite barriers, more than one-third of respondents said their companies use emerging technology at scale, and nearly half identify AI, machine learning and computer vision as the top technologies to impact the industry in the coming years.
Long before the recent peak in generative AI interest, emerging technology had to prove its business value. Leaders weigh the cost of launching new tech against the advantages it can produce.
Gartner expects AI deployments to have an immaterial impact on global IT spending levels this year. Instead of building standalone AI tools in-house, adoption will most likely pass through existing software platforms as vendors add new capabilities.
Retail leaders mainly want emerging tech buildouts to provide improved customer experience, according to 3 in 5 respondents. But 44% are also thinking about cost efficiencies and achieving a return on their investments in AI.
CIOs can rely on real-world examples to convey AI's value to the company, said George Koutsaftes, president and CEO of Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions.
"As generative AI becomes more commonplace, it is essential to convey the strategic objective of AI and clearly demonstrate how it contributes to the businesses' ROI," said Koutsaftes in an email. "Organizations will set themselves apart based on their skilled utilization of this technology."
Providers of software solutions are already developing industry-specific generative AI solutions.
In May, Google launched a feature within its retail-focused offering, Merchant Center, to automatically populate product information from company websites, including prices and descriptions.
Microsoft has also developed multiple solutions aimed at the retail sector, including tools to improve the efficiency of frontline employees and automate store workflows.