Insights from Propel Tech's Survey

At Propel Tech, we believe that bespoke software development offers new possibilities. In the last 12 months, software changes have been driven not only by developers but by cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI).

As part of our ongoing commitment to understanding the future of bespoke software development, we conducted a comprehensive survey involving over 800 respondents across a wide range of businesses and a diverse set of roles. We asked respondents their views on AI and its impact on the future of work and society.

The insights expose both caution and optimism relating to the future potential of AI and its relationship with bespoke software development. Here we dig into respondents' views on AI and its perceived opportunities and risks to business.

AI: The jury is out on AI as a transformative force

The survey revealed a big split in opinions towards the future impact of AI. Positivity towards AI was the majority sentiment, with nearly half (47%) of respondents expressing optimism about AI’s potential to positively transform lives and business. However, this enthusiasm is tempered by 11% who remain undecided, and a hefty 41% who harbour concerns about the risks outweighing the benefits. Our survey findings align with wider research that suggests the positives of AI adoption that could include streamlining repetitive tasks, processing data at speed, reducing human error, and delivering cost savings, however, concern remain about AI bias, the technology impacting the job market, privacy, inaccuracies in data and poor decision making.  

Age and seniority shape perceptions and split viewpoints 

Our survey shows real uncertainty and confusion around how Gerarative AI will evolve in the future. Senior leaders exhibited a higher level of indecision regarding the benefits or concerns relating to AI, with the majority (60%) of senior executives stating they were unsure of the impact of AI on businesses - meaning they were undecided as to whether AI will be positive or negative in the future, with this unsurity creating caution. 

In contrast, entry-level employees displayed a split view - good vs. bad. They took a clearly opinionated stance and fell into two camps, with 50% stating they were optimistic about AI's transformative potential and the remaining 48% apprehensive about its risks, only 2% of this group were unsure about AI. 

Looking to the broader view, we see big organisations focusing on the positives that AI will bring. In fact, Gartner expects that by 2033, AI solutions will have a hugely positive result on our working lives, streamlining tasks and creating employment to the tune of over a half billion net new human jobs.

Southern respondents are more optimistic than those in the North 

56% of respondents in the South of England believe that AI will transform everyone's lives for the better.

However, in the North of England the view is more conservative with a whopping 84% of senior  Northern executives indicating a limited belief in AI and a pessimism towards AI’s ability to replace people at work. 

The global AI perspective is brighter than in the UK

International responses further enriched our survey findings and they revealed that 50% of respondents outside the UK anticipate that AI will have positive impact. However, a significant portion of global respondents remained undecided (25%), emphasising the wider view that there is a need for continued dialogue and exploration into AI's implications on a global scale.

Looking ahead: balancing perspectives

While differing viewpoints exist, one thing is clear - the future of AI integration in the workforce demands thoughtful consideration, and it currently remains unclear to many what role it will play in shaping the future of work or the economy.

Our proprietary research showed a great deal of uncertainty and lots of mixed views regarding its long-term impact. As technology continues to evolve, Propel Tech remains committed to moving business forward with the right bespoke software solutions and innovation that empowers businesses to navigate the ever-changing landscape of AI and bespoke software development.

In conclusion, Propel Tech's survey underscores how AI must be considered as just one part of a fuller software modernisation plan. By focusing on the potential of bespoke systems, and staying attuned to industry trends, businesses can craft an AI plan that is right for them. 

Find out more about how the team at Propel Tech can support you on your bespoke software journey contact us today

Survey data gathered November - December 2023. 

Author: Sally Chuku
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