New research from cloud accounting software provider bluQube has found that just 13% of businesses are currently using artificial intelligence (AI), despite plenty of excitement and anticipation about the rapidly advancing services. The company undertook a survey of 150 senior business decision makers to chart how AI was being considered by businesses in the near future.
Despite an initial low uptake, bluQube has also confirmed that businesses are planning to invest greater, with 35% confirming that they wished to invest greater in AI over the next twelve months. Additionally, 17% said that they will be investing over the next three years.
25% of businesses expect to reduce staff numbers due to AI
A quarter (25%) of businesses also reported in the survey that they will eventually be able to reduce staff numbers and staffing costs due to AI. 6% in particular said that AI has already allowed them to do this.
Operations in particular has been cited as the most common area currently being impacted, as confirmed by over half of respondents, who are already using AI (52%), followed by production (48%) and customer service (38%). Sales and marketing (33%) and finance and accounting (29%) was confirmed to be lowest on the list.
However, when respondents were asked which areas of their business they felt would be most impacted by AI moving forwards, it was sales and marketing (34%) and finance and accounting (32%) that were at the top of the list.
The survey suggests some reluctance to engage with AI with 15% of those surveyed stating that they are unlikely to invest in it over the next three years, alongside 12% with no plans to invest at all in the future.
When these respondents were asked for reasons for not planning to use AI, expenses (35%) came out top of the list. Furthermore, one third (33%) agreed they didn’t have enough time to implement and train AI, while 23% had concerns around security breaches.
Commenting on the findings, Simon Kearsley, CEO at bluQube, said: “AI seems to have erupted recently and is dominating conversations across many different facets of business. While current take up is low, it’s clear that many organisations have plans to implement AI in various ways in the near future.
“The research raised some interesting findings about the role these business leaders see AI taking in their businesses, with some even viewing it as a means to replace elements of their human workforce.
“Although hesitations are understandable, inaction could see them being left behind. It’s the businesses that remain open to possibilities and ready to adapt that will be better equipped to remain competitive, profitable and reach new heights.”