More than half of Belgian business leaders overestimate their AI advancements

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Press Release | A research commissioned by Sopra Steria (that acquired Tobania and Ordina in ‘23) reveals that 54% of Belgian business leaders believe they are ahead of their competitors in adopting artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. A significant overconfidence is suggested that may not reflect the actual landscape of AI implementation within the country.

The study, conducted among more than 200 top executives across various industries, shows robust adoption of AI applications in critical areas. Customer data analytics leads with a 74% adoption rate, followed by risk assessments at 66%, and fraud detection at 64%.

These figures underscore the strategic importance that AI holds in modernizing operations and enhancing decision-making processes. Generative AI is Belgium’s most commonly implemented AI technology. A remarkable 24% of respondents said they are already in the advanced or implementation stages with generative AI, underscoring its growing influence.

This positive sentiment of Belgian business leaders extends to strong trust in their employees’ AI skills, with 84% confident in their workforce’s ability to harness AI for the company’s benefit and 83% fully trusting their use of company data in AI applications.

The survey also highlights critical gaps that could hinder effective AI deployment. A notable 59% of leaders identified the lack of a strong data foundation as a major obstacle, alongside a shortage of specialist AI talent, reported by 50% of respondents. These challenges underscore the urgent need for enhanced educational programs and strategic investments in data infrastructure to ensure that the potential of AI can be fully realized.

Lieven Verhaevert, CEO of Sopra Steria in Belgium and Luxembourg, urges leaders to take a cautious approach. “The survey reveals a strong drive towards AI among Belgian leaders, which is great news for innovation”, says Verhaevert. “However, we must seriously invest in data infrastructure and upskilling to ensure AI is used effectively and responsibly.”

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The survey was also conducted in the Netherlands. View the results of that survey here.

About the survey
This independent survey was commissioned by Sopra Steria and conducted by Markteffect. It gathered responses from 203 executive-level leaders across various commercial organisations in Belgium, each with a minimum of 250 full-time employees. The research was carried out using online quantitative methods from March 11 to March 22. For this survey, 'AI' was defined to encompass all AI technologies, ranging from 'traditional' applications such as recommendation engines and search algorithms to advanced generative AI technologies like ChatGPT and Midjourney, designed to create original content. While most questions addressed AI in general, some focused explicitly on generative AI.

About Sopra Steria
Sopra Steria, a major Tech player in Europe with 56,000 employees in nearly 30 countries, is recognised for its consulting, digital services and software development. It helps its clients drive their digital transformation and obtain tangible and sustainable benefits. The Group provides end-to-end solutions to make large companies and organisations more competitive by combining in-depth knowledge of a wide range of business sectors and innovative technologies with a fully collaborative approach. Sopra Steria places people at the heart of everything it does and is committed to putting digital to work for its clients in order to build a positive future for all. In 2023, the Group generated revenues of €5.8 billion.

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