Use of AI in Irish businesses could treble by 2023

15 Feb 2021

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According to a new survey, 40pc of companies are automating more processes as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Almost two-thirds of businesses and IT leaders plan to deploy AI or machine learning solutions by 2023, a new survey has suggested.

Technology company Expleo surveyed 200 business and IT leaders in Ireland as part of its Business Transformation Index. The research was carried out by TechPro in October 2020.

It found that 22pc of businesses surveyed have already implemented AI or machine learning solutions within their organisations, with an additional 42pc planning to do so within three years.

This will mean that almost two-thirds of Irish businesses plan to leverage AI and machine learning by the end of 2023, trebling the current figure.

The survey also found that Covid-19 has accelerated the use of automation for several businesses, with 40pc of respondents automating more processes as a direct result of the pandemic. Additionally, 17pc of respondents believe that automation will reduce backlogs caused by the pandemic.

Rebecca Keenan, global head of process automation at Exlpeo, said the results show that Ireland is close to “reaching a tipping point” when it comes to using AI and machine learning.

“It’s particularly interesting to see how many business and IT leaders view AI and machine learning as being fundamental to their business success. This mirrors what we are seeing in Ireland and across the group globally today, as more and more businesses harness technology to implement necessary changes to remain competitive and agile.”

Expleo’s survey also found that 73pc of respondents believe their company’s board is more likely to approve new IT strategies and innovations as a result of the pandemic. More than 40pc said their business had made significant strategy changes.

Workforce effects

Nearly two-thirds (60pc) of respondents believe automation will help employees focus on business-critical tasks, while 69pc believe it will speed up processes.

However, while the acceleration of automation can be seen as a positive, more than half of those surveyed (53pc) are concerned that long-term remote working as a result of the pandemic will have a negative impact on their team.

“While businesses have experienced significant challenges adapting to the remote landscape, there has been a concerted effort to enable a more seamless and manageable transition for staff,” the report said.

“Investment in people and processes will go a long way to make staff feel supported, nurture a spirit of togetherness and drive growth forward.”

Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic