Survey claims workers want more AI, but some don’t understand what it is

A study by BT Wholesale claims that 59% of employees want to see investment in AI, while 61% of IT decision makers are expecting to do so in the coming year.

Andrew Wooden

May 23, 2024

3 Min Read

The firm surveyed 250 employees, IT decision and resellers ‘across industries’, and explored opinions around AI, ways of working, 5G and other fun topics.

The buzz has created demand for AI solutions, claims the release, as evidenced by the above stats. It also asserts that this growing interest in new technologies means client conversations should be focused on the network requirements in order to make AI adoption a success, and says ‘whatever customers use AI for, they need their network to be built on a rock-solid foundation.’

However more than a quarter of IT decision makers surveyed did not feel that they fully understand what AI is – a sentiment shared by 20% of employees.

In terms of the general idea of upgrading technology, 80% of IT decision makers believed it will help employees do their job better, while 75% said they want to invest in technology this year. Which suggests a curious 5% segment that sees the benefits of upgrading but doesn’t want to.

Meanwhile we’re told channel resellers are significantly more likely (42%) to cite cyber-security as a top business priority than end-customer employees (25%) or IT decision makers (27%). This is despite 13% of these IT decision makers falling victim to a scam themselves. “To generate the same interest across stakeholder groups we need greater simplicity of both education and solutions,” claims the release.

75% of all groups said businesses should allow remote working at least once a week, with the optimum number of remote days being two. IT decision makers were most likely to cite the benefits of trusting employees, with positive impacts on employee mental health and work/life balance.

75% of IT decision makers said they need fewer applications and 72% said they needed simplified ways to collaborate in order for this to be most effective. However the release points to only 49% of IT decision makers already having a UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) platform in place, and the conclusion BT draws from that is: “The channel needs to develop simple business language and use cases to demonstrate the positive impacts UCaaS has on collaboration, well-being and productivity.”

Elsewhere, 65% of employees said they need faster connectivity, 70% said they wanted more reliable connectivity, and 78% of resellers said that their customers are ‘asking about 5G’.

“Following a year of rapid change, we wanted this research to hold invaluable lessons for our partners’ business growth,” said Gavin Jones, Channel Partners Director at BT Wholesale. “It’s clear that embracing 5G, AI, and cybersecurity is paramount, but trust and simplicity will remain the bedrock of success. The channel must pivot from tech talk to customer-focused conversation, fostering strong relationships to support customers as they navigate an ever-changing tech landscape.

“Through it all, we're here to support Partner Plus partners in adapting their strategies to today's and tomorrow’s market. With our range of innovative solutions, expert advice, and ready-to-use materials, partners can focus on building relationships and seizing opportunities.”

If that wasn’t enough stats around the idea of how companies are approaching technology upgrades for you, PR firm CC Group has also put out a report based on a survey of 200 technology-buying decision makers from UK enterprises. 

When asked what the factors driving the need to purchase new technology are, 47% said increasing revenues, 42% said increasing efficiencies, 42% said the need to keep up with new technology advancements, 39% said improving customer experience and employee experience, and 26% said the need to enable ESG initiatives.

It also found that the technologies that are most discussed within enterprises are AI (73%), automation (69%) and private networks (69%). On average, enterprises apparently made five major technology purchases in the last 12 months, and the typical ticket price for technology investments was around £270,000. 


About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

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