India heads the pack as an AI leader, with 70 per cent of companies having AI projects up and running, or in motion. This is in stark contrast with the global average of 49 per cent, according to a report by NetApp.

Additionally, the report found that 91 per cent of India-based companies will use half or more of their data to train AI models in 2024. The report also found a clear divide between AI leaders and AI laggards across several areas.

In terms of regions, 60 per cent of AI-leading countries (India, Singapore, UK, USA) have AI projects up and running or in pilot, in stark contrast to 36 per cent in AI-lagging countries (Spain, Australia/New Zealand, Germany, Japan).

Further, technology leads with 70 per cent of AI projects up and running or in pilot, while banking and financial services and manufacturing follow with 55 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively. However, healthcare (38 per cent) and media and entertainment (25 per cent) are trailing.

Larger companies (with more than 250 employees) are more likely to have AI projects in motion, with 62 per cent reporting projects up and running or in pilot, versus 36 per cent of smaller companies (with fewer than 250 employees).

Role of data

“The world today is driven by AI and data plays a critical role in enhancing AI capabilities. India is a country of humungous data sets. No surprise then, that India leads the world and corporations are embracing AI to further their IT agenda. We are partnering with a diverse group of customers to build an intelligent data infrastructure that spans multiple environments and is the backbone of all AI projects. Clearly, the more unified and reliable your data, the more likely your AI initiatives are to be successful,” said Puneet Gupta, Vice President and Managing Director, NetApp India/SAARC.

Both AI leaders and AI laggards show a difference in their approach to AI. Globally, 67 per cent of companies in AI-leading countries report having hybrid IT environments, with India leading (70 per cent) and Japan lagging (24 per cent).

Further, 87 per cent of Indian companies have optimised IT environments for AI and some AI-lagging countries also have AI-ready IT environments: Germany (67 per cent) and Spain (59 per cent). AI leaders are also more likely to report benefits from AI, including a 50 per cent increase in production rates, 46 per cent in the automation of routine activities and a 45 per cent improvement in customer experience, the report noted.