Artificial intelligence is knocking on the front door, but not all companies are welcoming it in with open arms.

In its latest IT Trends in Large and Medium-Sized Canadian Businesses report, Montreal-based IT solutions firm Novipro found that only 23 per cent of companies are considering an investment in AI, even though nine out of 10 medium and large-sized Canadian businesses are planning to invest in tech within the next two years.

Businesses also have a hard time attracting and retaining data scientists and experts in AI. Thirty per cent of survey respondents said it’s very hard to attract data scientists, and 27 per cent said it’s very hard to retain them. The numbers are slightly higher when it comes to AI experts, at 37 and 32 per cent. There is, however, a small spike among IT decision-makers when it comes to the deployment of AI, at 34 per cent. In the U.S., 66 per cent of organizations invested in AI in 2016.

Another major investment is aimed at cybersecurity. Nearly 45 per cent of businesses plan to focus on it over the next two years, and a portion of those businesses, 32 per cent, have already fallen victim to ransomware or to computer threats.

Twelve per cent of survey respondents report that the cloud isn’t for them, or they’ve had trouble adopting it. A lack of security is a major reason why, 52 per cent of respondents suggest.

When it comes to the cloud, 56 per cent of businesses are using it as a place to backup data. Big data and website maintenance followed, at 45 and 40 per cent, respectively. And while companies understand there is a major shift towards cloud computing, 12 per cent report that the cloud isn’t for them, or they’ve had trouble adopting it. A lack of security is a major reason why, 52 per cent of respondents suggested.

Overall, 87 per cent of businesses, an eight per cent increase over last year, believe IT is an integral part of their business strategy. However, only 14 per cent of them say they  have basic IT expertise, a 14 per cent drop from 2017.

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