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Research from Arrow Electronics shows AI adoption divide between enterprise and SMEs


Small businesses are missing out on the benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) according to new research from global technology solutions provider, Arrow Electronics.

The study of IT professionals across the UK shows that while over two-thirds (67%) of large businesses (those defined as having over 1000 staff) intend to use AI, less than one in five (17%) small businesses employing 11-50 staff have any plans to incorporate AI into operations.

A further 38% of businesses with 51-200 employees and a similar proportion (37%) of companies with between 200-1000 employees have also not factored AI into their business plans.

Mark McHale, VP of UK and Ireland at Arrow’s enterprise computing solutions business commented:

“While some sectors have implemented AI solutions to take away the responsibility of some repetitive tasks – particularly in health, retail and financial services sectors – we’ve only just scratched the surface of AI, deep learning and machine learning.

Our research findings reveal that smaller businesses are in danger of losing out when now would be the ideal time to embrace it and get ahead of the competition. Only 17% of IT professionals working in businesses of under 50 staff currently use or plan to use AI in their business processes and product and service offering.

Now is the time to factor AI into business strategies in order to remain competitive. Our role as a technology solutions aggregator is to help our channel customers come together to form an ecosystem that can create an effective platform for AI that helps businesses to access and adopt and implement this transformative technology.

It’s never too early for SMEs to begin thinking about new technologies – adopting AI strategies now, however embryonic, lays the foundations for future growth and makes adoption a more seamless process.”

Arrow will be tackling this subject at its inaugural technology conference, Vision 2019, putting AI centre stage and exploring the technologies driving digital transformation. The event will host over 1,000 industry professionals at London Olympia on 8 May. Sponsors and speakers include IDC, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Splunk and VMware as well as a whole host of other experts from the AI technology ecosystem who will help channel customers with what they need to know to take their customers on their AI journey.

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The survey was conducted by UK research company Research Bods with a panel of 130 IT professionals based in the UK.

About Arrow Electronics

Arrow Electronics (NYSE:ARW) guides innovation forward for over 200,000 leading technology manufacturers and service providers. With 2018 sales of $30 billion, Arrow develops technology solutions that improve business and daily life. Learn more at


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