Australian businesses hold back on fully embracing AI

Australian businesses hold back on fully embracing AI

Australian businesses are holding back on fully adopting AI, with many leaders viewing the technology as a potential threat.

BDO’s 2024 Global Risk Landscape Report has revealed that 32 per cent of Asia-Pacific business leaders say the evolution of AI poses a threat to their organisations, with just 5 per cent of businesses in the region engaged in significant use of AI for risk management.

By contrast 17 per cent of business leaders in the Middle East reported significant use of AI for risk management.

At a local level, BDO in Australia National Leader for Risk Advisory, Marita Corbett, said that in Australia, said the main challenge holding businesses back from embracing AI is a skills shortage, limiting the ability to properly utilise the technology.

“The integration of AI is more than just a tech person writing code. The actual integration is where the skills are wanting,” she said.

“It’s not just a skill, it’s the end-to-end lifecycle of AI and that integrated skill set.”

Another impediment is Australia’s strong worker protection commitments and concerns that AI could oust humans from the workforce and increase unemployment.

“In Australia, there are schools of thought that AI will free people up to do valuable work. But there is a fear that AI will take away some jobs, so there’s an industrial relations element to that.”

Ms Corbett said that a conservative approach to embracing the technology in Australia has been prevalent for a long period of time and may end up seeing local businesses lagging behind the rest of the world.

“There is a conservative element at plays… a willingness to let others do the initial investment and research and learn from them.

“While AI may pose unknown risks, an excessively timid approach may itself be a risk if competitors are moving ahead with AI adoption faster. 

Read the full report

For media enquiries:
Tate Papworth
Manager, Media
Ph: 0433 411 189