Marcum-Hofstra Survey: CEOs Turn to AI Amid Economic Struggles

Key Points:

  • A survey indicates CEOs are increasingly optimistic towards Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools due to their potential to enhance efficiency and innovation.
  • Usage of AI increased by nearly 10% from an earlier survey, with most CEOs prioritizing AI for improved operational efficiency, cost savings, and effectiveness.

According to a recent CEO survey by Marcum LLP and Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business, there is increasing optimism amongst CEOs towards AI tools for their potential to drive efficiency and innovation. The survey explored various business concerns, including economic challenges, global upheaval effects, talent management, AI and automation’s growing role, and cybersecurity preparedness.

AI tools utilization reported an increase of almost 10% from the February 2023 survey, with 35% of CEOs now using them in their businesses. CEOs primarily anticipate AI for enhanced operational efficiency (64.2%), cost savings (52.5%), and increased effectiveness (51.8%).

Process improvements, business planning, and customer service are among reasons for adopting or contemplating AI tools. AI use cases cited by companies in the survey ranged from patient scheduling, cash flow enhancement through back-office tools, manufacturing throughput, supply chain logistics, and replacing low-level staff roles with AI chats.

Economic concerns continue to be a key challenge impacting strategic planning and operational priorities. Still, many recognize artificial intelligence’s potential to help navigate these challenges by driving operational efficiencies and innovation.

Despite a decline in CEOs who view the business environment as “very positive,” more than 41% are confident, placing themselves in the “positive” range, an increase of over 5% from September. Meanwhile, talent availability, material costs, and operational costs continue to bear significant influence.

Cybersecurity threats are on the rise and a growing concern for CEOs, with only 33.5% feeling adequately prepared and 58.4% recognizing a need for improvement. CEOs are turning toward risk assessments, data backups, encryption, staff training, and strong password policies as best practices.

In conclusion, the survey underscores AI and automation’s pivotal role in enhancing operational efficiency and countering economic headwinds amid increased cybersecurity concerns.