UK companies plan to increase AI spending

Artificial intelligence

According to a new report, UK companies are prioritizing AI, with larger expected budget increases than in the US and Germany, and 90 percent considering AI a critical topic.

The report, from analytics database company Exasol, finds UK organizations expect to prioritize AI implementation through larger data and analytics budget increases over the next two to three years in the retail (+48 percent) and healthcare sectors (+100 percent).

Significant increases in data volumes are also expected across the retail (+59 percent), healthcare (+93 percent) and financial services sectors (+54 percent) over the same period. Headcount in data and analytics roles is expected to increase too, with modelers, engineers and data scientists identified as the top three roles.

Although 79 percent think that those not investing in AI today would put their future business viability at risk, companies still face considerable implementation challenges. UK companies cite AI regulation and governance (bias, undetected errors, unintended consequences, privacy, security and compliance) (62 percent), a lack of strategy/implementation strategy (43 percent) and poor data quality/insufficient volume of data (43 percent) as their top three concerns for adopting AI and machine learning.

When it comes to planning data and analytics initiatives to meet evolving business needs, the main concern, across sectors in the UK, is dealing with emerging regulation around the use of AI models including LLM (40 percent). By contrast, the main concern for US and German companies regarding AI implementation is improving data engineering and data scientist productivity (36 percent and 45 percent respectively).

"UK companies' plans to significantly increase data and analytics budgets across critical sectors demonstrate their commitment to harnessing AI and leveraging data-driven insights to optimise their operations and crucially, to enhance and accelerate decision-making," says Joerg Tewes, CEO of Exasol. "However, in order to accelerate AI implementation, companies need to evaluate their data analytics stack to ensure productivity, speed, and flexibility -- all at a reasonable cost."

The full report is available from the Exasol site.

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