Chancellor expected to inject £75m into AI, as only 1 in 10 business leaders see UK as a leader in digital

Ben Boswell of World Wide Technology

Only one in ten business leaders see the UK as a leader in digital, according to the latest survey by Deloitte. Although 85% plan to invest in AI and the Internet of Things (IoT), only 22% of businesses have so far.

The chancellor’s new budget, announced on Wednesday, is expected to allocate £75 million (€84.42 million) into AI, and £76 million (€85.55 million) into digital and construction skills. Encouraging investment in technologies like AI and the Internet of Things is massively important to UK productivity. But to make the most of the hype, AI and other new technologies need to be implemented with clear and specific business objectives in mind, says World Wide Technology.

Ben Boswell, VP Europe at World Wide Technology of World Wide Technology continues “AI and IoT technologies have the capacity to offer real productivity improvements to businesses. We’ve recently seen a manufacturer in the US on track to achieve $1 billion (€0.85 billion) in savings by the end of the year using predictive analytics, which rely on these capabilities.

“The UK stands to benefit too, if it can get the investment into new innovations right. With new challenges to global competitiveness following Brexit, this kind of advantage could be crucial. Spend on AI and digital technologies is currently only a very small percentage of overall IT budgets.

“Although AI is regarded as the most disruptive of new digital technologies, the hype must not lead government or businesses astray into making investments which aren’t aligned to outcomes.

“Digital technologies hold massive potential, but they need to be planned properly. New innovations should be implemented alongside strategic business goals aimed at increasing efficiency and boosting productivity.”

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