AI could unlock "billions" for small businesses - if they let it

Man tapping a cloud icon
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Cloud-enabled technologies, including AI tools, could unlock up to £6.9 billion in annual productivity gains for Britain’s micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) by 2030, new research has claimed.

Increased adoption is also touted to add a further two million jobs across key sectors like education and health.

While many of these emerging technologies can be frightening to some companies, a report from AWS reckons that nine in 10 businesses could adopt at least a basic level of cloud technology.

Billions are waiting to be unlocked

It’s easy to think that the world’s largest enterprises have control over many of the things we do, but AWS believes quite the contrary, suggesting that the influence MSMEs are likely to have on key societal changes moving forward will only grow, including things like access to remote health consultations and online education.

Current Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) trends place the UK as one of the largest cloud technology regions within Europe, but fewer British businesses are as prepared to invest in artificial intelligence and machine learning tools (only 13% of businesses).

Looking ahead, 75% of the MSME participants said that AI and ML could drive the most societal impact by the end of this decade. This illustrates a clear need for businesses to invest more in these technologies, specifically, in order to stay ahead of the curve.

Joe Carroll, General Manager for Digital Native Business, EMEA, at AWS, said: “The UK's journey towards a cloud-enabled economy needs both individual business technology integration and continued government focus.”

Carroll continued: “While the UK is making good progress, the report highlights barriers to cloud adoption by small businesses, such as concerns about cyber and data security, impact on organisational culture, limited access to the necessary IT infrastructure, and a need for increased digital skills.”

AWS hopes that its range of schemes and programs that are designed to help startups scale their businesses by sharing access to technical expertise, training, business mentorship, and cost management could go part of the way to helping some MSMEs in their journeys.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!