June 7, 2024

Enterprises are actively learning to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) in their workflows

You can read the full report in our Analytics section.

Undoubtedly, enterprises see significant opportunities to develop their business through the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI).

The recently approved EU AI Act allows to balance the benefits of developing new technologies and reduce risks for citizens and businesses. We believe that in the next decade this will ensure the sustainable development of both technologies and the businesses implementing the AI technologies in EU.

According to Eurostat data, large European enterprises are significantly ahead of small and medium-sized businesses in terms of introducing new technologies (the data excludes enterprises from the financial and agricultural sectors).

In 2023, 30.4% of large enterprises used at least one of the AI technologies, while only 13% of medium-sized businesses and only 6.4% of small businesses used AI.

Over the three years from 2021, the percentage of enterprises using new technologies has not increased dramatically, only +0.4 percentage points in average. At the same time, the number of large enterprises using AI increased by +2 percentage points, medium ones by +0.4 percentage points, and small by only +0.3 percentage points.

Among the main reasons why enterprises do not introduce AI technologies are “Lack of relevant expertise” (9.8% for Large enterprises, 6.6% for Medium companies and 3.9% for small Business).

Following that, enterprises indicate difficulties with “Availability or quality of the necessary data” and “Incompatibility with existing equipment, software or systems”. Large enterprises believe that problems with data quality are more acute (7,1%) than problems with relevant equipment (6,7%).

Next, enterprises point to such reasons as “Lack of clarity about the legal consequences”, “Concerns regarding violation of data protection and privacy” and “Costs seem too high”.

At the same time, mostly all enterprises believe that AI is certainly useful to the enterprise: only 1-2% of enterprises indicated that “Artificial Intelligence technologies are not useful for Enterprise”.

The level of AI implementation in businesses shows significant variation across the EU.

The percentage of enterprises working with artificial intelligence technologies differs significantly in different EU countries. Obviously, the percentage of enterprises using new technologies depends on the structure of the country's economy and the level of maturity of industries. The absolute leaders in the implementation of artificial intelligence technologies are Information and communication (29.4%) and Professional, scientific and technical activities (18.5%), demonstrating a clear lead in AI adoption with their respective impressive percentages.

Different types of activities have different priorities for using AI technologies. For example Converting spoken language into machine-readable format (speech recognition) prevails in Construction (26.4% of used AI technologies in the sector). Real estate prevails performing analysis of written language (21.9%).

Automating different workflows or assisting in decision making prevails in Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply; water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (23.1%), Manufacturing (22.8%), Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles (21.1%), Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (20.8%).

In Information and communication Machine learning leads with 21%.

Additionally, the reasons for adopting new technologies differ greatly depending on the industry.

Enterprises use AI technologies for different purposes depending on the activity of the economy in which they operate.

For example:

 in “Manufacturing”, AI software or systems is used mostly for production processes (38.2 %), while AI software or systems is mostly used for ICT security in “Electricity, gas, steam, air conditioning and water supply” (37.6 %) and in “Information and communication” (31.6 %).

 the main use for AI is Research and Development (R&D) or innovation activity in “information and communication” (41.3 %).

 enterprises mainly use AI software or systems for marketing or sales in the “Accommodation” (51.4 %) and in “Retail trade”(41.8 %)

Enterprises choose several possible options for developing and implementing AI technologies.

Just like three years ago, Commercial software or systems ready to use (19% for Large enterprises, 7.2% Medium enterprises, 3.3% Small businesses) are the most used products in 2023. Companies also prefer products Developed or modified by external providers (14.2% for Large companies) and Commercial software or systems modified by own employees (13.3% for Large companies).

But as supply on the AI  solutions develops and a transparent regulatory system is implemented, enterprises are increasingly choosing open-source software or systems modified by their own employees like one of the base options to gain new technology.

In some countries, enterprises, especially large ones, are expanding their own development teams and are relatively reducing the use of external technology developers. For example, in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Austria, Slovenia.

For large business EU average reaches 10%. Topusers in 2023: Belgium - 18% of large enterprises (+6% by 2021), in theNetherlands - 13.4% (+3.3%), in Finland -13.2% (+3%).

The rise of cloud technologies empowers businesses to build robust digital infrastructure, paving the way for advanced data analysis and AI solutions. We anticipate a significant surge in cloud adoption across all company sizes within the next three years. Currently, 69.5% of large companies use cloud services, compared to 50.5% in medium-sized companies and 35.4% in small businesses.

This widespread adoption will undoubtedly fuel the growth of the data analysis and AI technology markets.

CDP experts project continued dominance of data analysis services and technologies in the near term. However, the emergence of open, secure, and accessible AI solutions is expected to drive increased adoption, particularly among small and medium-sized businesses.

The forthcoming decade is anticipated to witness widespread adoption of artificial intelligence technologies across the vast majority of enterprises, facilitated by continuous advancements in the technological landscape. However, it is imperative to prioritize the balanced development of regulatory frameworks within this domain, concurrently ensuring the robust protection of user rights, encompassing both individuals and organizations. Only through the implementation of such a comprehensive and well-calibrated approach the fostering of sustainable economic growth can be effectively achieved.

You can read the full report in our Analytics section.

Dear colleagues, when using the materials of the article, please refer to the source CDP center.

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