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Hong Kong leaders lack cultural traits required for AI adoption

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A recent study by Microsoft has revealed that Hong Kong’s artificial intelligence (AI) journey is ahead of the rest of Asia Pacific in terms of investment and data, but slightly behind in terms of culture. Despite the overall positive outlook on AI’s impact on the future of jobs, most Hong Kong business leaders do not possess the skills they will need in three years, the study finds.

The top three future skills required by management level respondents in Hong Kong are quantitative, analytical and statistical skills, digital skills, and an adaptable and continuous learning mindset. If leaders do not upskill themselves within three years, their current skills such as general equipment operation, mechanical skills, basic data input and processing, communication and negotiation tactics will be obsolete; while the skills they lack of now such as adaptability and continuous learning, digital skills, IT skills and programming would become their competitive edge.

Management level respondents who are adopting AI face three top challenges: lack of skills, resources and continuous learning programmes, lack of throught leadership and leadership commitment to invest in AI; and lack of advanced analytics or adequate infrastructure and tools to develop actionable insights.

To accelerate a person’s AI journey, businesses have to create the right organisational culture. A significant proportion of business leaders and a majority of workers surveyed believe that cultural traits that support AI journeys, such as risk-taking, proactive innovation, as well as cross-function partnerships among teams, are not prevalent today.

“Organisations’ management should make AI a core part of their strategy and develop a learning agility culture. They have to continuously invest in this transformative technology for the long-term success, sometimes without immediate returns,” said Victor Lim, vice president, customer research and consulting operations at IDC Asia/Pacific. 

With 74% of the management level respondents polled agreed that AI is instrumental to their organisation’s competitiveness, 40% of organisations in Hong Kong have already embarked on their AI journeys.

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