Most British businesses will use AI routinely within the next five years, but many are struggling to overcome leading AI race “implementation gap” and risk losing ground to more sophisticated rivals, report warns.
Research from data science consultancy Peak Indicators, found some stark differences in the rate of AI adoption across UK businesses. The Artificial Intelligence in Business report revealed that
- One in eight UK employers (12 percent) are now using AI insights or automation.
- More than a quarter (27 percent) are investigating how it could support their activities.
- Adoption is highest in the Finance and Accounting sector, where more than half (59 percent) of companies are already using AI in some capacity.
Geography has a significant impact on the rate of adoption:
- London-based businesses are nearly 1.5 times more likely to be testing or using AI routinely than firms in almost every other region, more than half (54 percent) are already implementing AI solutions.
- Only the East and Northeast of England, both regions in which 42 percent of firms are using AI, came close to the capital.
- England’s North West and South West were notable AI cold spots, with just 23 percent and 19 percent of firms respectively using the technology.
Business size was also a clear determinant of successful AI deployment:
- Almost four-in-ten (38%) large companies (250+) have deployed AI around the business, and a further 35% are testing the technology.
- This is more than twice as much as medium sized businesses (15% of whom have deployed AI) and six times greater than small businesses (only 6% use AI live).
Paul Clough, Head of Data Science at Peak Indicators, comments: “We are seeing the start of an AI arms race. People need to prepare for the reality that most British businesses will use AI routinely within the next five years.
“Most leaders recognise this trend, but many are struggling to move beyond investigating AI into the deployment of live applications. SMEs and businesses in areas without a wealth of relevant technology talent find it harder to move from talk to trials and are at greater risk of losing ground to more technologically sophisticated rivals.”
Are you using artificial intelligence (AI) in your business?
|Business Size||No||Not yet, but we are looking into it||Yes – testing AI applications in a limited way||Yes – some departments are using AI||Yes – AI widely used across our business|
|Micro (1-9 employees)||64 %||27 %||7 %||2 %||0 %|
|Small (10-49)||48 %||28 %||18 %||5 %||1 %|
|Medium (50-249)||28 %||25 %||32 %||13 %||2 %|
|Large (250+)||9 %||17 %||35 %||28 %||10 %|
|North East||26 %||32 %||26 %||11 %||5 %|
|North West||51 %||26 %||13 %||5 %||5 %|
|Yorkshire & Humber||40 %||26 %||20 %||11 %||3 %|
|East Midlands||38 %||28 %||28 %||7 %||0 %|
|West Midlands||44 %||22 %||22 %||7 %||4 %|
|East of England||26 %||32 %||37 %||5 %||0 %|
|London||26 %||20 %||32 %||19 %||3 %|
|South East||41 %||24 %||14 %||17 %||3 %|
|South West||47 %||33 %||19 %||0 %||0 %|
|Wales||46 %||15 %||23 %||8 %||8 %|
|Scotland||48 %||19 %||15 %||15 %||4 %|
|Business services||31 %||33 %||18 %||16 %||2 %|
|Construction||36 %||33 %||17 %||11 %||3 %|
|Education||37 %||33 %||23 %||7 %||0 %|
|Finance & accounting||18 %||23 %||34 %||18 %||7 %|
|Hospitality & leisure||58 %||31 %||8 %||4 %||0 %|
|Healthcare||42 %||29 %||21 %||4 %||4 %|
|IT & computing||20 %||16 %||42 %||11 %||11 %|
|Wholesale & retail||53 %||15 %||18 %||15 %||0 %|
For more information or to obtain a copy of the report, please contact
Nathan Makalena | Roaring Mouse Public Relations
M: +44 (0)7538 507 274
Research methodology: Peak Indicators engaged the research consultancy Opinium to interview a representative sample of 500 senior decision-makers from UK-based companies about their adoption of AI technologies. The interviews were conducted online between 3 – 10 February 2021.
About Peak Indicators
Established in 2008, Peak Indicators (www.peakindicators.com) has grown to become one of the UK’s leading data science and analytics organisations. The company combines best-in-breed technologies and an expert team to drive transformational results for hundreds of financial services, retail, consumer goods, public sector, and telecommunications organisations. Peak’s customers include HSBC Bank, AstraZeneca, Legal & General, Nomura, Schneider Electric, and GO Outdoors.
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