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European organizations prefer customized solutions when applying AI and ML functionality. According to a study by Rackspace, this greatly contributes to a shortage of well-qualified personnel,

The report underscores a growing number of European organizations using or wanting to use AI or ML for their operations. Rackspace surveyed nearly 2.000 IT leaders across most major industries. More than half indicate that AI and ML are an integral part of their business strategy. The primary reasons are a major impact on revenue, brand reputation, brand awareness and cost savings.

In the coming year, most companies expect to put AI and ML applications into production, scale-up proof of concepts and pilot new projects. For this purpose, the vast majority expect to set aside 6 to 10 percent of their annual IT budget.

Customization leads to skills shortage

Although adoption is a positive sign, Rackspace researchers discovered a number of current bottlenecks.

According to the report, many organizations using or planning to use AI and ML prefer technology developed from scratch. Pre-built solutions are less popular. The preference for customized solutions requires employees with the right skills. For example, companies have a high demand for data quality analysts, ML specialists and specialists in the field of deep learning and predictive modelling. Precisely these specialists are hard to find.

Therefore, almost a third of the respondents indicate that a lack of specialists inhibits the development and implementation of AI and ML within their organization. Employees need to be upskilled. Think about knowledge on programming and software design, ML, analyzing data quality, data governance and security.

‘Reconsider vendor solutions’

Rackspace researchers note that there’s a second way to combat the lack of knowledge about AI and ML. They believe that companies should reconsider the value of off-the-shelf solutions. In other words: less focus on customization, more confidence in pre-built tech.

We find it important to note that Rackspace is one of the parties that benefit in demand for off-the-shelf AI and ML solutions. Although this doesn’t completely refute the value of its advice, it undoubtedly motivates the organization to advise in the first place.