Over half (54%) of IT leaders in Ireland believe their existing IT infrastructure is not fully prepared for the demands of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, despite its widespread adoption across industries, according to the Equinix 2023 Global Tech Trends Survey. The survey, which examined IT leaders’ responses to AI advances in their organisations, comes after a year of significant AI breakthroughs that saw the technology rapidly deployed in applications across both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer sectors.
Equinix’s survey, which included 100 IT decision-makers in Ireland, found that, on average, IT leaders in Ireland were more likely than IT leaders in EMEA – and worldwide – to lack confidence in their digital infrastructure’s ability to cope with the demands of AI. The survey found that 49% of IT decision-makers in EMEA have concerns about the ability of their infrastructure to accommodate the needs of AI, compared to 44% in Asia-Pacific and 32% in the Americas
The survey showed that there is now a widespread appetite among businesses in Ireland to benefit from the advantages of AI, with 85% of IT leaders reporting that they are already using it, or planning to do so, across multiple functions. A similar survey from Equinix last year found that a significantly lower 62% of IT leaders viewed AI as a priority for their technology strategy, representing a marked change in sentiments towards the technology and its accessibility. Today, organisations in Ireland are currently using, or planning to use, AI to benefit IT operations (85%), cybersecurity (81%), and customer experience (80%).
In addition to inadequate digital infrastructure, the survey highlighted a lack of confidence among IT leaders in Ireland in their teams’ abilities to accommodate the growing use of AI, with 59% expressing concerns. Therefore, 34% of IT leaders understandably listed AI and machine learning as the third-most sought after expertise for IT team growth in the last 24 months. The lack of internal knowledge relating to AI was found to be enough to put 46% of IT decision-makers off adopting newer technologies like AI. Other deterrents included increased OPEX costs (42%) and slow implementation (41%).
Peter Lantry, Managing Director for Equinix in Ireland, said: “All industries are being transformed by AI – including our own. We are already experimenting with how it can enable greater operational efficiency and energy savings – and it has the potential to do so much more.
“For enterprises to use AI in a meaningful way, they must be able to produce vast amounts of data which can be shared, stored and processed in a sustainable way. They require digital infrastructure that guarantees private, secure, high-speed access to external data sources and AI models.
“Ireland’s digital economy is growing and there is no question that AI will play a central role in its continued growth. From disease detection in healthcare, to fighting cybercrime in financial services, it will have a profound impact on our everyday lives, with every industry benefiting from its implementation. Without the right digital infrastructure underpinning it, AI cannot be intelligent, and given the pace of change, businesses will quickly find themselves left behind.
A full copy of the report can be found here.