AI spend to increase but education needed

Nearly two-thirds of UK businesses plan to invest more in AI across 2024, yet only half (51%) understand how it can benefit their operations, according to NetApp.

Its findings reveal that businesses are adopting technology to remain compatative, but risk setting themselves up for failure.

Currently two-thirds (67%) of leaders see AI as a strategically important part to their future operational success and a quarter (26%) are actively exploring the technology or plan to adopt AI for the first time this year.

However, fewer than three in ten (29%) businesses are confident of investing into effective AI projects and just a third (33%) of IT decision makers said that their business’s approach to AI is clear and strategic.

The majority (30%) of UK businesses admit the primary motivation for AI adoption is to keep up with their competitors and further 10% noted increasing pressures to expedite the implementation of AI.

Nearly half (42%) of SME leaders are unsure whether their current course of AI adoption will result in a return on investment and 20% of IT leaders worry they will risk losing customer trust by taking rushed and poorly executed AI services to market.

Of those planning to adopt AI, only 31% of British business leaders admit that their company’s IT function is well-prepared. Conerningly, 23% are aware that they will struggle to implement AI in the next 12 months due to a lack of relevant skills.

Piero Gallucci, VP & GM, UK&I, said:  “The research findings truly highlight the challenges businesses face and a sense of anxiety about being left behind.

“While our industry often boasts a fail-fast culture, businesses need to approach AI more strategically. Poor decisions made now could have lasting consequences to long term effectiveness.”

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