Type to search

Featured Telecommunications/Technology

Microsoft surveys Puerto Rico entrepreneurs on use, value of AI

Microsoft recently conducted a survey among 100 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Puerto Rico and the Americas to explore the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on their operations. The survey, titled “AI in Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities,” aimed to gauge the adoption, challenges and benefits of AI.

The findings indicate that 61% of businesses view AI’s impact on productivity positively, with a similar proportion seeing benefits in work quality, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement, noting an average productivity increase of 43%.

The survey focused on SMEs with up to 250 employees, investigating AI adoption, challenges faced, and its effects on productivity, efficiency, cybersecurity and training.

Customer service emerged as the primary area for AI utilization (36%), followed by operations and production (21%). Digital-native companies, which operate mainly online or in the cloud, showed a higher inclination towards using AI in legal areas (24% versus 11% overall).

Business intelligence optimization through data usage was identified as the top priority for implementing AI (38%).

This survey marks the first exploration of AI usage in SMEs over three years, highlighting the sector’s growing awareness and interest in AI and its potential business benefits.

“For the first time, our annual survey focuses on the use of AI in small and medium-sized enterprises in countries in the Americas,” said Ineke Geesink, director for SMEs in Central America and the Caribbean at Microsoft.

“We’re particularly interested in Puerto Rico because we see acceptance, and above all, interest in the implementation of AI to impact the daily operation of businesses. Additionally, we see areas where SMEs in Puerto Rico can stand out, such as business performance and productivity, thanks to the implementation of AI,” he noted.

Regarding AI integration into business models, 21% of companies had made progress by 2023, with a higher rate among digital natives. AI is a priority for 32% of companies, especially digital natives (59%), with expectations of increasing interest in AI among SMEs.

“AI is here to stay. However, although we have seen a lot of enthusiasm around this new technology, we recognize that in some SMEs there are still questions regarding its use and optimization. With that in mind, Microsoft has created multiple online trainings through its Microsoft Learn platform and via LinkedIn to showcase the wide range of uses that this technology presents to all types of companies,” said Geesink.

“At Microsoft, we are committed to the success of all our customers, no matter how small or large they are. We strongly believe that AI will become the preferred tool to drive the growth of SMEs in Puerto Rico,” Geesink added.

The survey included interviews with owners, partners and managers across various sectors, predominantly the food and beverage industry (22%), with a participant demographic of 67% women and 33% men, mostly aged between 25 and 54 (73%).

Geographically, the surveyed SMEs are spread across Puerto Rico, with San Juan and Ponce being the most represented cities, with 22 and 20 businesses, respectively.

Author Details
Author Details
This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *