Banking institutions in the UK have a growing appetite for innovative AI-driven solutions, but are being held back by a shortage of skills in that area, a new report has shown.
New research into AI adoption within financial services organisations in the UK has been released by SambaNova Systems, developer of a platform that allows banks to run AI and Deep Learning applications. The study of market leaders sought to understand the challenges faced when delivering AI-based solutions during a period of accelerated change and transformation.
“AI is becoming a huge driver of value to businesses and is set to contribute trillions to the global economy over the next decade,” said Marshall Choy, SVP Product at SambaNova. “Progressive business leaders are realising the value of AI. However, benefiting from it requires technology teams to deliver. This is where difficulty surfaces for most organisations in the financial sector.”
Data from the study shows that over three-quarters of finance technology leaders in the UK are already adopting AI models and algorithms. However, the study uncovered a number of clear challenges, from skills to technical, that are facing banking leaders today.
Top three UK enterprise challenges highlighted in the research include: Keeping pace with the speed of model and data growth (78%); Hiring staff with appropriate skills in AI/ML (70%); Finding or customising models and algorithms (67%).
“The research shows that financial services decision-makers understand the value they can derive from AI today,” added Choy. “The rapid pace of innovation has presented challenges to technology teams in keeping up.”
For banking leaders, AI is a driver of business value, and more than half (56%) said that AI’s business impact will be “transformational” or “significantly improve the business” over the next 12-24 months. For technology leaders in financial services, finding skilled staff across all technology disciplines is difficult. However, the challenge is particularly acute in the specialist field of AI. Some 52% of IT managers reported that they have the budget to hire additional resources for their AI teams while 70% said that hiring the skilled staff is challenging. Over half (52%) said that retention is a challenge too.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find an area of technology that is being developed more intensely than AI, especially around large language models such as GPT,” said Chris Kenny, General Manager, EMEA at SambaNova. “The opportunity these models deliver is there for the taking, although technology teams often don’t have the resources or expertise to take advantage of the opportunity. For enterprises struggling to deliver on business leaders’ demands, deploying AI as a service is a fast track, a scalable way to avoid falling behind their competitors. AI is already here at most financial organisations.”