A Cisco study reveals serious gaps in AI readiness around the world. But opportunities are massive, and Cisco is ready to help.

Technology change is never easy. AI is uniquely complex.

With Generative AI, there is so much excitement and opportunity. At the same time, there are concerns around accuracy, privacy, and the ethical and responsible use of AI.

AI seems to be the top topic in most customer conversations, especially regarding how to expand their operational capabilities. But they don’t always know how.

Interestingly, this is validated and quantified in a new Cisco study, the Cisco AI Readiness Index. In a survey of more than 8,000 private sector, business and IT leaders across 30 countries, 95 percent of respondents said they have an AI strategy in place or under development. Yet 86 percent are not ready to integrate AI into their businesses.

So, the will to change is there. And the opportunity is enormous — it’s estimated that generative AI could add $4.4 trillion to global GDP each year. What are the challenges keeping so many organizations from getting there?

The AI Readiness Index underscored some key gaps, beginning with infrastructure. Ninety-five percent of businesses are aware that AI will increase infrastructure workloads, but only 17 percent have networks that are flexible enough to handle this complexity. Another 23 percent of companies currently have limited or no scalability at all to meet new AI challenges.

Of course, data is at the heart of effective AI. Yet 82 percent of respondents claim some degree of siloed or fragmented data in their organization. This poses a critical challenge. In order to gain the full benefits of AI, it’s essential to integrate data from many sources, seamlessly, and securely.

Another 97 percent of respondents said the urgency to deploy AI technologies in their organizations had increased in the past six months, with IT infrastructure and cybersecurity reported as the top priority areas for AI deployments.

At Cisco, we’re excited about the role we play in helping to address such challenges, as innovators and as partners. We are already integrating differentiated AI capabilities into our portfolio — and doing it responsibly.  For example, we are building AI-ready infrastructure that optimizes network and compute efficiency to better handle the unique demands of AI workloads. We make AI-driven insights possible with a breadth of data that spans industries, applications, infrastructure, users, devices, and more. We are incorporating AI into our security and observability portfolio to help customers secure their AI stack and data, manage costs, and deliver trustworthy AI outcomes. And we’re innovating with new models to help companies unleash the creativity and productivity of their workforce through language intelligence and new experiences with audio and video.

We see a future with AI that’s innovative, efficient, and trustworthy, not to mention more sustainable and equitable.

But that better tomorrow demands careful decisions and actions today.

In the Cisco AI Readiness Index, 76 percent of respondents said their organizations lack comprehensive AI policies. This is an area that must be addressed — by organizations and on a broader level by society and governments. Without proper governance, trust and confidence will erode. So, data privacy, sovereignty, and compliance must be carefully defined and strictly enforced. And issues of bias, fairness, and transparency in data and algorithms must also be addressed.

To that end, Cisco’s Responsible AI Framework sets a high bar for the tech industry and beyond. And we’re committed to building on this important leadership role.

So check out our AI Readiness Index and compare your organizational readiness to survey results across common AI challenges and opportunities. You can also learn more about our products, solutions, and services to find the best place to start improving your AI capabilities and readiness in a way that’s ethical, powerful, and responsible.

As you can tell, we’re excited about what we can all accomplish with AI.


Explore the Cisco AI Readiness Index

Download the report and see how you compare.



Liz Centoni

Executive Vice President

Chief Customer Experience Officer