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Security & Skills Biggest Concerns for Orgs Investing in New Tech

A new CBI report into emerging technologies has revealed that artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) will become mainstream business components over the next five years.

In Disrupting the Future, the CBI outlines how firms and the government must pave the way for the adoption of cutting-edge technologies, whilst also highlighting the barriers that must be overcome to do so.

When regards to AI, half of businesses believed this technology would soon fundamentally transform their sector. However, only a third of organizations said their company had the skills and capabilities needed to adopt AI technologies. As a result, the CBI today called on the government to establish a joint commission to examine the impact of AI on people and jobs, with plans for action that will raise productivity, spread prosperity and create new economic growth.

Further, CBI claimed that the principle concern for businesses looking to adopt the IoT is the security and privacy of devices, urging government to pass the Data Protection Bill so companies have ample time to prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation, which sets a clear framework for safeguarding the data generated by IoT devices.

Lastly, with blockchain technologies gaining popularity and continuing to span different sectors, there is a need for regulatory co-ordination at both domestic and international level to avoid fragmentation and encourage industry collaboration, the CBI said. Therefore, regulators must work closely with the different industry consortia and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to share best practice and learnings.

“Much is made of new technologies and how they will impact companies in 10 or 20 years, but these are no longer ideas on the fringes and are shifting rapidly into the business mainstream,” said Josh Hardie, CBI deputy director-general. “The UK must lead the way in adopting these technologies but we must also prepare for their impacts.”Businesses that invest and innovate tend to grow quicker and get the best out of their workforce, he added, but while these technologies are in action now, regulatory hurdles, security concerns and the issue of finding people with the right skills mean that many firms are slow to adopt.

“It’s up to business, government and employee groups to make sure the UK economy leads from the front.”

Matt Hancock MP, welcomed the report from the CBI.

“Alongside our independent review into Artificial Intelligence last week, our ambitions are aligned on the need to embrace the opportunities of the digital revolution,” he explained. “In our manifesto, we committed to establishing a data use and ethics body which would work with industry to answer some of the vital questions on the impact of big data and artificial intelligence, and so create the right conditions for digital businesses to thrive.”

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