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REPORT: AI will play crucial role in small and mid-sized businesses in 2024

A recent survey conducted by Paychex Inc. indicates that artificial intelligence (AI) will be a significant tool for small- to mid-sized businesses in 2024, especially in addressing diverse challenges faced by business and HR leaders.

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The survey, which gathered insights from 600 U.S. business and HR leaders across various industries, reveals that the top business challenges include rising interest rates, inflation, and the threat of an economic slowdown. In the realm of HR, the primary concerns are risk management, leadership development, and the recruitment of talent with competitive benefits and compensation.

Jeff Williams, vice president of enterprise and HR Solutions at Paychex, highlighted the increasing expectations on business and HR leaders, in a recent story published by The RBJ. These leaders are grappling with a tight labor market and macroeconomic pressures, such as rising healthcare and benefit costs, necessitating a reassessment of HR and benefits strategies. AI is seen as a critical tool to help navigate these complexities.

The survey found that an overwhelming majority of leaders (98 percent) anticipate using AI in 2024, with 85 percent already employing it. Current applications of AI include automating workflow, enhancing sales, and managing business analytics. In the next 12 months, leaders plan to expand AI utilization to support customer service, strengthen IT operations, screen resumes, and identify job candidates, showcasing AI’s growing importance in various business functions.