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95% of Indian CIOs Deem AI Critical for Business in 2024; 28% Invest in GenAI: Lenovo Survey

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Lenovo today unveiled the ‘CIO Playbook 2024 – It’s all about Smarter AI’ report, providing a comprehensive overview of AI adoption in Asia-Pacific (AP). The IDC report, commissioned by Lenovo that surveyed over 900 CIOs, including 150+ in India reveals that organizations in AP are planning to increase AI spending by 45% in 2024 compared to 2023.

It also noted the massive shift in CIO priorities from last year with AI topping the list. Notably, across AP revenue and profit growth have shifted from the top priority in 2023 to number #3 in 2024, while customer experience and satisfaction have surged two spots to come in the top 2 priorities. This underscores a strategic shift towards cutting-edge innovations and a customer-centric approach in the evolving business landscape.

However, divergence emerges between business leaders and CIOs on AI technologies. Business leaders want to prioritize GenAI to enhance customer experience and drive outcomes, while CIOs express cautious optimism. Ranking GenAI as the 4th tech priority, CIOs are prioritizing AI technologies that address security, infrastructure, and talent considerations.

Amit Luthra, MD – India, Lenovo ISG, revealed, “The AI Playbook echoes what we have been hearing from the customers. CIOs in India are most confident about AI, with 95% expressing certainty that it will create a competitive advantage, and 57% of them consider it to be a game changer for their organizations. Higher investments in GenAI and machine learning followed by deep learning systems, underscore their desire to elevate operational efficiency, security, decision-making processes, and customer experiences.”

GenAI: Key Trends for Indian CIOs in 2024

CIOs across India (28%) and Korea (33%) lead in GenAI investments in AP, followed by ASEAN+ (11%), ANZ (2%), and Japan (2%). In India, AI has significantly influenced top technologies including Cybersecurity and Threat Detection, Intelligent Automation and Robotics, and Automation for enhanced efficiency.  Among the Indian CIOs surveyed the following was observed:

GenAI Investment

(Invested + Planning)

Top 2 Areas of Interest Recruitment difficulty for AI positions (Extreme + moderate) Top 2 Prep Tools for GenAI
(28% + 65%)


1.        Business Intelligence

2.        Conversational AI

45% 1.        Employee Skill development

2.        End-end network security


  • Adoption challenges– High dependence on third-party support (55%) & security (51%) are top 2 concerns for Indian CIOs
  • AI Deployment challenges – Concerns over job security (62%) as well as lack of adequate IT support in automation deployment (64%) are key pain points for CIOs in India.

 Bring AI to the Data – 69% of AP CIOs prefer AI workload in a non-public cloud environment; 84% CIOs in India already using AI to enhance their security framework

Furthermore, the survey reveals that AP companies will adopt a balanced approach to AI workload deployment.  On average, 31% of AI workloads will be deployed on the public cloud, 28% on the private cloud, and an additional 28% on hybrid cloud solutions.

Scott Tease, VP – HPC & AI, Lenovo, added, “Additionally, the allocation of 13% of AI workloads at traditional data centers signifies a growing recognition of the importance of edge computing, bringing AI capabilities closer to the source of data generation.”

 At the same time, 84% of CIOs in India are already using AI to enhance their security framework with 14% planning to invest.

Sumir Bhatia, President, AP, Lenovo ISG, noted “We are bringing AI everywhere through our pocket-to-cloud solutions, and an ecosystem of 50+ ISVs and 165+ AI solutions. With domain experts and smarter technologies, we’re powering AI for All and transforming the customer experience.”

 Key AP Trends among CIOs Across BFSI, Telco, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Government and Retail in 2024

Vertical Impact of AI

(Gamechanger + Hygiene Factor)

GenAI Investment

(Invested + planning)

Top 2 CIO Challenges Edge Investment by 2024 Top 2 Edge Use Cases
BFSI 93% 93% 1. Cybersecurity & privacy

2. Data Management & Analytics

28% 1. Retail & CX

2. Remote monitoring & Telehealth

Manufacturing 92% 87% 1. Digital transformation

2. Cybersecurity & privacy

40% 1. Industrial Automation & Manufacturing

2. IoT Device Management

Retail 92% 94% 1. Cybersecurity & privacy

2. Digital transformation

31% 1. Retail & CX

2. Real-time Analytics and Insights

Telco 89% 89% 1. Cybersecurity & privacy

2. Digital transformation

19% 1. Real-time Analytics and Insights

2. Retail & CX

Healthcare 88% 70% 1. Digital transformation

2. Data Management & Analytics

33% 1. Real-time Analytics and Insights

2. Retail & CX

Govt 83% 89% 1. Talent Acquisition & retention

2. Customer Experience

14% 1. Real-time Analytics and Insights

2. Video Surveillance and Security

 India Insight

  • In India, primary use cases for emerging technologies such as GenAI include risk and fraud detection in BFSI.
  • The Indian manufacturing sector leverages AI-enabled predictive maintenance systems, aiding enterprises in autonomous real-time monitoring of equipment and anomalies.
  • High-performance compute platforms (55%) and automation of digital infrastructure (39%) are expected to be areas with the highest spending in 2024.

Edge Implementations will Supercharge AI; 30% increase in Edge investments by CIOs in India

  • A 30% YoY jump in India and a 25% YoY increase in spending on Edge technology across AP
  • With Edge devices set to generate large volumes of real-time data, new use cases for AI models will emerge. Accordingly, Indian CIOs feel Real-time analytics (70%) and Video surveillance & Security (53%) use cases will experience the most significant impact from AI.

Data, Security and Skills are the Key Challenges for AI in 2024

CIOs report that the top technology challenge for AI is GenAI’s reliance on extensive datasets, a resource most organizations lack. In terms of business challenges, Job security and lack of requisite AI skills tops concerns for IT employees in mature markets. Notably, India exhibited the highest job security within the region.

Most available operational AI jobs, notably in DataOps (75%), SecOps, and DevOps (75%) remain accessible and relevant, representing key entry points as organizations continue their AI journey. Yet 45% of AP and Indian enterprises struggle to hire for AI-related positions, more than doubling the usual hiring effort. This talent gap compels organizations to pivot towards internal solutions, emphasizing the imperative to upskill existing employees.

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