Machine Learning Study 2020
Machine learning becoming standard in German companies

Norderstedt, April 17, 2020 – The topic of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) has established itself in German companies. Yet, while executive level has identified its business potential, IT departments and specialist divisions continue to regard the technology with a degree of skepticism. This was the conclusion of the “Machine Learning 2020” study conducted by IDG Research Services. In total, 406 companies participated in the study. Lufthansa Industry Solutions is a partner to the study and served on a panel of experts.

Search for solutions together with IT departments and specialist divisions

When it comes to C-level managers, 60 percent regard machine learning as a means of developing new business models. However, only 36 percent of specialists in IT and other fields share this assessment. “Businesses therefore still have a lot of work to do to convince their staff and assuage their fears of AI/ML as a supposed job killer,” summarizes Jürgen Hill, Chief Editor and Technology Team Leader at Computerwoche, in the foreword to the study. “The executive level needs to listen carefully and search for solutions together with IT departments and specialist divisions. Issues like a lack of expertise, low-quality data and insufficient knowledge of programming and statistics are put forward by IT departments and specialist divisions as barriers to progress – and not without reason.”

Central questions and key findings

Why are companies introducing machine learning and what do they aim to achieve? What AI/ML methods are businesses using? How are companies measuring the success of their machine learning projects? These are just some of the issues covered by the study. Its analysis brought the following key findings to light:

  • Machine learning is becoming standard

Compared with 2019, the number of companies engaging with machine learning (ML) has risen by 20 percent to almost 73 percent. Some have even deployed numerous ML technologies, especially companies with 1,000 employees or more (40 percent) and larger SMEs with 500 to 999 employees (30 percent).

  • Machine learning drives innovation and optimization

Around 56 percent of companies are seeking to improve their internal processes with the help of machine learning. For more than 44 percent of businesses, the technology provides a foundation upon which to develop new business models and offerings.

  • Speech recognition and image recognition dominate areas of application

The top four areas of application for AI and ML technologies are speech recognition (51 percent) followed by image recognition, text analysis and translation (all on 46 percent). Applications in the planning stage include hyper-targeting (40 percent) and analysis of behavioral patterns (36 percent).

  • Ease of use and transparency of results are decisive factors

The 2019 IDG study found that the most important criterion when selecting an ML solution was the price. However, in this year’s study, companies placed greater significance on ease of use (40 percent overall, 47 percent for larger companies) and transparent operating principles in ML algorithms (40 percent overall, 45 percent for larger companies).

  • Data privacy and expertise are the biggest obstacles

The largest problems in the use of machine learning include a lack of specialist knowledge (39 percent) and the challenges involved in implementing data privacy requirements (35 percent).

IDG Machine Learning Study 2020

In this study, you can read how high-ranking decision-makers assess the status of AI and ML for their companies.

About Lufthansa Industry Solutions

Lufthansa Industry Solutions is a service provider for IT consulting and system integration. This Lufthansa subsidiary helps its clients with the digital transformation of their companies. Its customer base includes companies both within and outside the Lufthansa Group, as well as more than 200 companies in various lines of business. The company is based in Norderstedt and employs more than 2,100 members of staff at several branch offices in Germany, Albania, Switzerland and the USA.