Australian businesses lag global AI investment, new BDO report finds

Australian businesses lag global AI investment, new BDO report finds

Less than one in three Australian businesses are investing in AI, despite widespread acknowledgement that their organisation will only survive if it significantly accelerates its technological innovation, a new global study by BDO has found.

Techtonic States, the global study by accounting and consulting firm BDO, found that just 29 per cent of Australian businesses are investing in AI as a measure to deal with the risk their business faces, trailing behind the UK’s 49 per cent and the global average of 38 per cent.

This comes despite 86 per cent of the 500 global business and public sector leaders surveyed acknowledging that the smart adoption and harnessing of technology will make or break business success over the next three years.

“Organisations worldwide are investing in AI for efficiency, data insights, and streamlined decision-making. Regardless of what lies ahead, innovation will remain the catalyst for sustainable business growth,” says BDO in Australia Cyber Security National Leader, Leon Fouche.

“Australia's limited AI adoption suggests we're not leveraging AI's benefits, which could impact our global competitiveness and innovation in the fast-changing digital landscape.

“We believe this report will help both private and public sector leaders to embrace the spirit of preparedness, adaptability, and innovation. By doing so, we can face the challenges of tomorrow stronger and more resilient than ever before. The stakes are high, and the path ahead is uncertain. The future belongs to the bold.”

Key findings from our global study include:

  • 86% of leaders said that failure to leverage the benefits of technology and data is a risk that would impact their organisation over the next three years
  • 75% believe that lack of technology expertise is the greatest risk to their organisation’s growth
  • 84% of business leaders say their organisation will only survive if it significantly accelerates its technological innovation.

The Techtonic States report also envisions four distinct worlds in 2026 and the implications they have for organisations today.

In every one of these four scenarios, advanced technology emerges as the driving force, enabling organisations to not only mitigate risks but also enhance their resilience.

The next three years promise rewards for those who can welcome change and navigate adeptly. This is as much about a culture which is open to experimentation as it is about innovative technology. Building partnerships with trusted digital advisers which understand this overlap enables an approach much more likely to produce meaningful results.

“The purpose of the BDO report is not to predict the future with certainty. Rather, it aims to empower business leaders to be proactive architects of their destinies in a world where the pace of change is relentless,” says Mr Fouche.

“The ability to plan for multiple plausible futures is a strategic imperative, and by embracing technology, organisations can future-proof their potential and avoid major fault lines.”

Download our full report

About BDO’s Digital services

At BDO, we pride ourselves on being a trusted digital partner to our clients. We combine the power of technology, human intelligence, and business expertise to work alongside clients in transforming their business and unlocking its full potential.

BDO is dedicated to facilitating business growth on a global scale. We help clients strengthen their digital capabilities while safeguarding their business from potential risks.

We always have an eye on the future, committed to helping businesses adapt and thrive in an ever-changing landscape. This report is a testament to our strategic digital approach, which focuses on building resilience and preparing businesses for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.

For more information:
Jotham Lian
Media Manager

Research carried out during 2023 in conjunction with Man Bites Dog, an award-winning global B2B thought leadership and strategic marketing consultancy.