AI triggers tech anxiety amongst executives, new research reveals

As AI continues to mature and seep its way into business operations, executives confess to feeling stressed about its potential repercussions.

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94% of business leaders globally suffer from tech anxiety due to the pace at which digital and technological change is accelerating, according to research.

The top tech anxiety inducers are cyber security, AI, and machine learning, according to a study by Kin + Carta, a global digital transformation consultancy, which surveyed 800 senior business leaders in the US and the UK.

When asked about specific concerns, 35% of respondents noted technological change, 29% internal skills gap, and 28% access to the right talent.

Executives, despite feeling cold sweats, are not staying put.

75% of leaders believe that further investment in digital transformation is necessary within the next 12 months to combat this anxiety and 58% plan to spend more in the coming year compared to previous years.

Senior leaders also share the view that AI is the pathway to the workplace of tomorrow. 15% of leaders say they plan to invest in it this year and 12% plan to invest in cyber security.

How to ride the technological wave

Organisations need to future proof their workforce to avoid wiping out. This can help bridge the internal skills gap that many executives fear.

Richard Neish, Global Chief Strategy Officer at Kin + Carta, notes, “There’s no doubt that technology is moving incredibly quickly, but concerns such as data trust and the internal skills gap can be managed, as long as businesses invest in the right areas.”

According to an IONOS survey, 79% of small business owners in the UK consider the adoption of new technologies to be critical for future growth.

Executing a smooth technological transition can be done in a number of ways. Besides investing in new technologies, businesses can develop clear AI policy guidelines on how to and how not to use it at work.

In fact, 45% of HR managers agree this measure should be a priority. Other key measures include having a Learning & Development strategy in place for upskilling and reskilling and updating talent management practices.

Businesses can also consider creating new positions so that someone in the organisation is tasked specifically with managing this technological transformation.

One example is having a Chief AI Officer who can implement security and data standards that can empower a business to make the most of the technological revolution.

Change tends to be unsettling. By reframing natural anxiety into potential opportunity, businesses can take steps to prepare for the future and cross new productivity frontiers.

Written by:
Fernanda is a Mexican-born Startups Writer. Specialising in the Marketing & Finding Customers pillar, she’s always on the lookout for how startups can leverage tools, software, and insights to help solidify their brand, retain clients, and find new areas for growth. Having grown up in Mexico City and Abu Dhabi, Fernanda is passionate about how businesses can adapt to new challenges in different economic environments to grow and find creative ways to engage with new and existing customers. With a background in journalism, politics, and international relations, Fernanda has written for a multitude of online magazines about topics ranging from Latin American politics to how businesses can retain staff during a recession. She is currently strengthening her journalistic muscle by studying for a part-time multimedia journalism degree from the National Council of Training for Journalists (NCTJ).

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