UK businesses investing in digital technologies, and the tech they want to own
Digital technologies are an essential part of owning a business in the 21st century, and it was recently estimated that 70% of businesses already have a digital transformation strategy*. Whether it’s investing in a quantum computer, upgrading to 5G or using artificial intelligence to ease the workload, different businesses have different priorities for investing in the best technologies for themselves.
Keen to find out which digital technologies real business owners are interested in and which countries are investing the most in new tech, WalkMe.com surveyed 1,303 business owners and analysed country spending habits to find out where money is being invested and by whom, as well as analysing data from the 2021-22 Digital Future Index.
Digital tech business owners are most interested in investing in
|Digital Technologies||Percentage of people who would invest|
|#2||Internet of Things (IoT)||21.9%|
|#3||Artificial Intelligence (AI)||14.5%|
|#7||Distributed Ledger Technology (Blockchain)||3.4%|
WalkMe.com discovered that people would be most interested to invest in 5G as 32.9% of respondents chose the new high-speed connectivity tech as their primary area for investment. This comes as no surprise as 5G is now available in 112 countries around the world, and 5G availability now covers 49.2% of the USA**.
Ranking second is Internet of Things (IoT) technology, with 21.9% of participants choosing this as their primary investment area. IoT (Internet of Things) tech are any physical devices which can be connected to the internet – from aeroplanes to computers, and lightbulbs to children’s toys.
Artificial Intelligence ranks third with 14.5% of people interested in investing. The AI sector is quickly growing in the form of self-driving cars, smart vacuums, voice-controlled assistants (eg. Alexa and Google Home), and much more.
The countries investing most money in digital technologies
WalkMe.com also analysed recent data from the Digital Future Index which ranked countries for their spending on technologies including artificial intelligence, immersive technologies, blockchain and internet of things. The results are as follows:
|Countries investing most in artificial intelligence||Countries investing most in immersive tech||Countries investing most in internet of things tech||Countries investing most in distributed ledger tech|
|#1||USA – £71.3bn||USA – £11.8bn||USA – £15.7bn||USA – £8.9bn|
|#2||China – £34.2bn||China – £1.6bn||China – £3.8bn||UK – £1.6bn|
|#3||UK – £7.2bn||UK – £592bn||Japan – £2.4bn||China – £1.5bn|
|#4||Israel – £3.5bn||Israel – £338bn||UK – £1.7bn||Switzerland – £967m|
|#5||Canada – £3.1bn||Switzerland – £329m||Israel – £805m||Singapore – £850m|
The United States ranks as the country investing most in digital technologies, investing the most money in every category worldwide. The USA has invested most in AI (artificial intelligence), and the country’s investments in AI have surpassed £71bn in total to date.
In second place is China, who have also invested the majority of their money into AI, with investments in this area of more than £34bn.
The United Kingdom ranks third in the study, and first in Europe. The UK is estimated to have spent a total of £10.4bn on digital technologies, also with the most money invested into AI (£1.3bn).
Israel ranks fourth for AI and Immersive Tech (ie. virtual reality) globally, and fifth for IoT tech (technology that connects to the internet). Switzerland ranks fourth for DLT (ie. Blockchain) and fifth for Immersive Tech.
- WalkMe.com wanted to find out which countries are investing the most in digital technologies and which technologies are of most interest to business owners.
- They analysed the 2021-22 Digital Future Index in order to determine which countries are investing the most in Artificial Intelligence, Immersive Tech, Blockchain (Distributed Ledger Technologies), and Internet of Things. A total of 125 variables were used to calculate the countries investing most including each country’s size and population.
- Next, WalkMe.com created a Google Survey, asking 1,303 UK business owners the following question: ‘As a business owner, which advanced digital technology would you be most interested in investing in?’. Respondents could then select one of the following answers: 5G, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Biometrics, Quantum Computing, Immersive Technologies, or Distributed Ledger Technologies (Blockchain).
- The study was conducted from 24th to 26th February 2022. Results were analysed and a percentage was calculated for each response. The data was ranked from highest to lowest.
*Percentage of businesses with, or working on, a digital transformation strategy sourced from financesonline.com.
**Additional data on 5G coverage sourced from speedtest.net.