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Interest in AI High Among Middle Market CEOs

CEOs appear optimistic about the role technology and artificial intelligence (AI) will play in the future, with 86 percent expressing an interest in it and more than half (56.6%) indicating they were “very interested” in incorporating artificial intelligence into their business operations, according to  the latest poll from Marcum LLP and Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business.

“Technology remains a top priority for business leaders, as evidenced by the growing interest in artificial intelligence, and investments in equipment and talent also speak to CEOs’ plans to continue growing their businesses,” said Jeffrey M. Weiner, chairman & chief executive officer of Marcum. 

The Marcum LLP-Hofstra survey offers key insights on the potential CEOs see in investing in technology:

  • The number one business objective CEOs hope AI will improve (as cited by 41.5%) is customer service operations.
  • Nearly 40 percent (38.9%) of CEOs polled view improving data entry, analytics, and reporting as extremely helpful, closely followed by improvement in decision-making/risk reduction (35.6%).  
  • CEOs indicated they hoped AI would improve efficiency in distribution and logistical operations and overall labor efficiency (33.1% cited for each).

The survey is conducted as part of the Zarb School of Business MBA curriculum to give students perspective on how middle-market CEOs respond to the market.  “These surveys provide an inside view of the delicate balancing act every business leader must master between short- and long-term priorities, and between fostering stability and nurturing growth,” said Zarb School of Business Dean Janet Lenaghan. “This [partnership] offers our students an exceptional experiential learning opportunity that is rare among MBA programs.”

This latest survey also polled CEOs on growth, investment plans, specific business news and policy developments. Of note, optimism for the current business environment by middle-market CEOs surveyed is weakening compared to prior surveys:

  • Less than 20 percent (17.6%) of CEOs rated their outlook for the coming year as a “10” or “very positive” This is a six percent decline from 24% in the last survey.
  • Nearly 60 percent (58.6%) of CEOs rated their outlook as “8” or higher, showing a decline from 70 percent.

Get the full results: Marcum LLP-Hofstra University CEO Survey and prior surveys.