Most organizations are fully invested in AI but more than half don’t
have the required in-house skilled talent to execute their strategy,
according to new research from SnapLogic.
The study found that 93% of US and UK organizations consider AI to be a
business priority and have projects planned or already in production.
However, more than half of them (51%) acknowledge that they don’t have
the right mix of skilled AI talent in-house to bring their strategies to
life. Indeed, a lack of skilled talent was cited as the number one
barrier to progressing their AI initiatives, followed by, in order, lack
of budget, lack of access to the right technology and tools, and lack of
access to useful data.
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New research from SnapLogic reveals organizations are fully invested in AI but a lack of access to skilled talent, technology, and data is holding them back. (Graphic: Business Wire)
research, conducted by Vanson
Bourne on behalf of SnapLogic, studied the views and perspectives of
IT decision makers (ITDMs) across several industries, asking key
questions such as: where is your organization in its AI/ML journey, what
are the top barriers your organization is facing when executing your AI
initiatives, does your organization have employees in-house with the
required skillset to execute your strategy, and what are the top skills
and attributes you are looking for in your AI team?
Where are organizations in their AI/ML journey?
When asked where organizations are in their AI/ML journey, most (93%)
ITDMs claim to be fully invested in AI. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of
organizations in the US and UK have initiated an AI project during the
past three years, with the US leading the UK at 78% compared to 66%
Looking at specific industry sectors, the financial services industry is
most progressive with 80% having current AI projects in place, followed
closely by the retail, distribution and transport sector (76%), and the
business and professional services sector (72%). Surprisingly, the IT
industry was found to be among the least progressive in AI uptake with
70% having projects actively in place.
Key barriers holding AI initiatives back
Despite strong levels of AI uptake, organizations are being held back by
significant barriers. More than half (51%) of ITDMs in the US and UK do
not have the right in-house AI talent to execute their strategy. In the
UK, this in-house skill shortage is considerably more acute, with 73%
lacking the needed talent compared to 41% in the US.
In both the US and UK, manufacturing and IT are challenged the most from
this in-house talent shortage. In the UK, 69% of manufacturing
organizations and 56% of those in the IT sector raise lack of in-house
talent as the top barrier. Likewise, in the US, those two sectors face
similar challenges, with 50% in manufacturing and 41% in the IT industry
citing lack of in-house talent as the primary barrier.
Behind lack of access to skilled talent, ITDMs in the US and UK also
consider a lack of budget (32%) to be a key issue holding them back,
followed by a lack of access to the right technologies and tools (28%),
as well as a lack of access to useful data (26%).
Building the right AI team
Interestingly, the priority skills and attributes that organizations are
looking for in their AI team are coding, programming, and software
development (35%), with data visualization and analytics considered to
be a priority by 33% of ITDMs. An understanding of governance, security,
and ethics is also considered a necessary skill (34%). Just over a
quarter of ITDMs (27%) are looking for talent with an advanced degree in
a field closely related to AI/ML.
To build the right AI team, an impressive 68% said they are investing in
retraining and upskilling existing employees. Nearly 58% of ITDMs
indicated they are identifying and recruiting skilled talent from other
companies and organizations, while almost half (49%) believe that
recruiting from universities is important to getting an effective AI
team in place.
Gaurav Dhillon, CEO at SnapLogic, commented, “The AI uptake figures are
very encouraging, but key barriers to execution remain in both the US
and UK. For organizations to accelerate their AI initiatives, they must
upskill and recruit the right talent and invest in new technology and
tools. Today’s self-service and low-code technologies can help bridge
the gap, effectively democratizing AI and machine learning by getting
these transformative capabilities into the hands of more workers at
every skill level, thus moving the modern enterprise into the age of
About the research
The research was conducted by independent research house Vanson Bourne
in March 2019 on behalf of SnapLogic. A total of 300 IT decision makers
participated in the study, representing organizations with more than
1,000 employees across the United States and the United Kingdom.
About Vanson Bourne
Vanson Bourne is an independent specialist in market research for the
technology sector. Their reputation for robust and credible
research-based analysis is founded upon rigorous research principles and
their ability to seek the opinions of senior decision makers across
technical and business functions, in all business sectors and all major
markets. For more information, visit vansonbourne.com.
SnapLogic provides the #1 Intelligent Integration Platform. The
company’s AI-powered workflows and self-service integration capabilities
make it fast and easy for organizations to manage all their application
integration, data integration, and data engineering projects on a
single, scalable platform. Hundreds of Global 2000 customers — including
Adobe, AstraZeneca, Box, Emirates, Schneider Electric, and Wendy’s —
rely on SnapLogic to automate business processes, accelerate analytics,
and drive digital transformation. Learn more at snaplogic.com.