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AI adoption

Overcoming the barriers to making AI implementation real

To understand where organisations are on their journey to the intelligent enterprise, we surveyed 300 decision makers in UK public and private sector organisations, at either C-suite or C-minus one level.

Our results show that leaders grasp the incredible potential of AI:

say organisations need to fully embrace AI to succeed in future
say AI can make their organisation more efficient
say full AI adoption would improve their organisation financially

Yet leaders need help making AI implementation real, and are often unclear on the best way to proceed.

have concerns around AI ethics and regulation
have too few AI specialists to drive the agenda
need more help to define their AI strategy

When it comes to strategic direction, more than four fifths of respondents believe the leadership team should be accountable. However, a similar proportion acknowledge that successful integration will require collaboration between various stakeholders across the business: IT, business units, and data experts.

Talent shortages and the skills gap

Our survey also found that 85% of leaders believe new skills will be essential to manage AI. The standout skills needed relate to AI data privacy, AI project management, being able to align AI initiatives with future strategy, and general AI literacy.

Currently, three quarters of leaders believe the talent shortage in AI makes it difficult to invest. To bridge the skills gap, leaders say the following training approaches would be of most use: 

  • Protected time to try out AI technology
  • Online courses and tutorials
  • Access to AI tools and software.

Government’s role

In the rapidly accelerating world of AI, leaders also told us that they’re looking for government support:

believe government needs to improve AI literacy
think government should regulate AI to provide guidance
say the government needs to lead on unlocking skills

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This “AI adoption” research was conducted by PA Consulting as part of an online survey. The study was conducted in the UK between November 9, 2023 – December 1, 2023, and surveyed 300 business decision makers currently working in C-Suite or C-Suite minus-1 roles in organisations of 100+ employees.

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