81 per cent of IT directors looking for AI help

Many UK businesses want to integrate AI apps quickly, research reveals.

Only 19 per cent of senior IT decision-makers in the UK say their company currently has what it takes to develop artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives, research by reviews and customer insights company Feefo has found.

Despite 71 per cent of respondents saying they believe AI will live up to its huge potential, more than a third (36 per cent) said they will need to recruit extra staff with the right expertise.

The findings were revealed in a survey of 100 senior IT decision-makers, covering their attitudes to AI and its adoption in their respective organisations.

The research found that almost a quarter of organisations (24 per cent) will buy off-the-shelf AI solutions and a fifth (20 per cent) will use outsourcing. 

According to Wired, Google and Amazon have started their own consulting operations to lend out their expertise to smaller firms, while Microsoft recently launched its own AI school.

How can businesses use AI?

AI is expected to further boost the personalisation of a web page which means that companies will be able to tailor offers to customers without having to ask for a name, email or phone number. It’s also hoped AI will help the fight on online fraud with AI tools on automation and voice/text recognition expected to make businesses more robust against criminals.

Matt West, chief marketing officer at Feefo said, ‘Business leaders must embrace AI – the future of customer-engagement depends on it. Companies that neglect the importance of this exciting technology risk being left behind while rival companies take the opportunity to steal customers and provide a better experience.’

When it came to planning for an AI budget, 20 per cent of respondents said their business would spend between £250,000 and £499,999 on AI over the next three years and 17 per cent said their ball-park figure was between £500,000 and £1 million. More than one-in-ten (14 per cent) said they did not know what their organisation would spend.

He added, ‘It’s clear that businesses believe in, and want to benefit from AI technology, especially when it comes to customer engagement.’

Further reading on AI

Artificial intelligence and automation: can we plug the skills gap

Michael Somerville

Michael Somerville

Michael was senior reporter for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2018 to 2019.

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