Why artificial intelligence needs C-suite support

In this episode of the EY Microsoft Tech Directions podcast series, we discuss AI adoption by businesses around the world. 

Related topics Alliances AI

Podcast host Simon Hobbs welcomes Stela Solar, Microsoft’s Global Head of Artificial Intelligence Solutions and Hugh Burgin, EY’s Data and AI Leader for the Americas. Together they discuss why scale, speed and C-suite support are critical factors when it comes to maximizing the transformative effects of artificial intelligence (AI).

AI is a competitive differentiator thanks to the ability to optimize business processes and performance. This technology has moved beyond proof of concept and is employed in every sector and business function – from telecommunications to agribusiness to marketing departments trying to drive growth to HR teams attempting to improve employee performance. 

AI technology generates billions of dollars of value globally. To maximize a return on investment it’s necessary to have a comprehensive strategy that touches upon every element of the project.  

Strong C-suite sponsorship and engagement improves the outcome of AI. Leadership buy-in ensures close alignment with business goals, allows for greater agility, gives access to improved resources and generates support from other key stakeholders, giving the project greater traction. 

In today’s business environment, success is easier to achieve on an individual project level and helps convince other internal stakeholders to get onboard, overcoming silos and smoothing the way to organization-wide adoption. 

Combine on-demand scalability with Microsoft’s native services and it is possible to overcome a third major challenge to AI adoption – speed. Companies no longer need to spend years developing AI technology foundation. Instead they can fast track to developing and implementing AI use cases in a matter of months.

Key takeaways:

  • Companies need to focus on the most important challenges facing their business to experience the full value of an AI strategy. 
  • AI success is about organizations modifying their operating models so they can embrace AI and drive improved decision-making.
  • Companies must build trust with AI and embed the frameworks necessary to ensure AI solutions operate within acceptable limits,  and provide appropriate transparency into the outcomes. Only then will widespread adoption be possible.
  • In the future, exciting transformational AI solutions will be woven invisibly into and enrich many more aspects of our lives, delivering amazing outcomes

For your convenience, full text transcript of this podcast is also available. Read the transcript.


Hugh Burgin
EY Americas Microsoft Data & AI Leader
Stela Solar
Speaker, EY-Microsoft Tech Directions


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