Half of businesses lack necessary AI skills

More than half of businesses do not have the right in-house skills to execute their artificial intelligence (AI) strategy, despite 93 per cent being “fully invested” in AI, according to new research from SnapLogic.

A survey of 300 IT decision-makers from large companies in the UK and US found that the AI skills shortage was most acute in the UK, with 73 per cent lacking the talent they needed to execute their plans, compared to 41 per cent in the US.

Amongst the most in demand skills for AI teams were coding, programming and software development, with 68 per cent of organisations saying they were investing in retraining and upskilling existing employees.

When asked where organisations are in their AI and machine learning journey, 93 per cent claimed to be fully invested in AI.

On a sector specific basis, the financial services industry was most progressive, with 80 per cent having current AI projects in place, followed closely by the retail, distribution and transport sectors (76 per cent) and the business and professional services sectors (72 per cent).

Surprisingly, the IT industry was found to be among the least progressive in AI uptake, with 70 per cent having projects actively in place.

Nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) of organisations in the US and UK have initiated an AI project during the past three years, with the US leading the UK at 78 per cent compared to 66 per cent uptake.

In addition to a lack of access to skilled talent, IT decision-makers in the US and UK said that they also consider a lack of budget (32 per cent) to be a key issue holding them back, followed by a lack of access to the right technologies and tools (28 per cent), as well as access to useful data (26 per cent).

Gaurav Dhillon, chief executive at SnapLogic, said: “The AI uptake figures are very encouraging, but key barriers to execution remain in both the US and UK. For organisations to accelerate their AI initiatives, they must upskill and recruit the right talent and invest in new technology and tools.”

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