Our recent Business Spotlight results show that millennials that run businesses are more positive about the short term financial future of their business and feel more prepared for the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in the longer term, compared to those business decision makers born before 1980.
Although only 11% of business decision makers are born after 1980 so can be categorised as ‘millennials’, they portray a different outlook to their older counterparts. To start with, when it comes to the financial position of their company over the next 12 months, 61% of millennials believe it will improve, compared to just 40% of older business decision makers.
Over half of millennials (56%) feel their business is prepared for the rise of AI and increased automation over the next 10 years, although the majority of these remain cautious, as 52% are only ‘fairly prepared’. In contrast, only just over third (35%) of older age groups feel they are prepared for the consequences, which suggest many businesses have not really considered the implications.
Are millennials more realistic about the potential impact of AI?
According to our data, 1 in 10 (11%) millennials running businesses expect staff numbers to reduce over the next 10 years as a result of AI (compared to just 4% of older decision makers) with a further 23% admitting they don’t yet know the likely impact. Only 61% of them are confident AI will have no impact on the number of staff over the next 12 months, compared to a 79% of the older group (a significantly higher proportion). Interestingly, 12% of these older business decision makers have actually experienced a decline in the number of staff over the last 12 months, compared to just 2% of millennials. Could this already be the impact of increased automation or a symptom a potentially weaker financial position?
Businesses and technology: Helping businesses prepare for the future
There is clearly a need for increased business support to help companies prepare for future technological developments, particularly considering that the majority of business decision makers do not fall into our more prepared millennial group. Small businesses could benefit the most, as being prepared for the rise of AI increases among the larger companies (61% among those with 250+ employees) with only 35% of sole traders and 41% of micro business feeling equipped to deal with this future development.
IFF will soon be launching a report into the use of digital banking and attitudes towards new technology among UK businesses. For more information please contact Georgina Clarke in our financial services team:
Georgina Clarke, Director
M: 07715 961476