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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Lack of AI skills puts public sector projects at risk

Salesforce's research shows a major AI skills gap in the public sector, with few IT professionals feeling confident in generative AI use.

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According to new research from Salesforce, the public sector could face significant challenges if the AI skills gap continues. The study reveals that three in five public sector respondents identified a shortage of AI skills as their main implementation hurdle, highlighting its vulnerability to the slow adoption of this emerging technology.

Public sector faces AI skills shortage

The study also found that fewer than one in three (28%) public sector IT professionals consider themselves experts at using generative AI. Similarly, only 32% claim to be experts in understanding real-world generative AI use cases, such as data analytics.

Addressing the skills gap in the public sector

If you're working in the public sector, it's crucial to address the AI skills gap. Casey Coleman, SVP of Global Solutions for Salesforce, stressed the importance of training workers in AI skills: “By investing in new skills like prompt development, public sector leaders can empower their workforce to use AI to increase , build deeper relationships with constituents, and improve the quality of public services.”

Salesforce's research is supported by a separate Deloitte study, which suggests that AI could potentially save government agencies hundreds of millions of dollars and significant time.

The study found that 60% of respondents cited a lack of skills as the primary hurdle to effectively using AI. While this challenge was present across all sectors, the global average of 46% underscores the scale of the issue.

Despite these challenges, if you work in the public sector, you may find it encouraging that your sector is marginally more prepared (by two percentage points) than other sectors to adopt AI in terms of data quality. Additionally, data security is less concerning amongst public sector respondents compared to the consensus.

Improving efficiency amid budget constraints

If you're involved in public sector projects, you're likely already grappling with budget and efficiency constraints. Salesforce's research suggests that investing more time in training and development could address these challenges and potentially lead to considerable improvements.

Automating routine tasks has emerged as the top benefit of AI for both the public sector and all sectors. However, unique to the public sector were the other two benefits rounding up the top three – reduced risk and improved customer experience.

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Emma Job
Emma Job
Emma is a freelance news editor at Tech Edition. With a decade's experience in content writing, she revels in both crafting and immersing herself in narratives. From tracking down viral trends to delving into the most recent news stories, her goal is to deliver insightful and timely content to her readers.

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