This year’s NatWest’s technology conference included a live survey of some of the key issues facing businesses in the technology sector with over half (51.4%) saying they planned to invest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) or the Internet of Things (IOt) ‘any day now’.

28% of attendees said that disruptive new tech entrants would have the biggest impact on their organisation over the next decade. This was followed closely by 26% voting it would be AI/automation, 18% saying digital transformation, 15% voting big data and analytics, 8% mobile and just 2% robotics.

The survey also asked participants what was most on their mind at the moment with 56.3% saying Brexit, 16.7% voting cyber attacks, 14.6% data collection & protection and 12.5% agreeing on AI.

The year’s conference also explored how machine learning, artificial intelligence and cognitive computing are driving a revolution in the workplace.

A special guest, Pepper the Robot, even joined in the panel debates and spoke to attendees, 20% of whom said that most of their staff could be replaced by robots.

Neil Bellamy, Head of Technology, Media and Telecoms at NatWest, said: “The technology industry and developments in AI and robotics is one of the most important issues for UK businesses.

“How businesses prepare for and adapt to changes and challenges will determine how they perform in a constantly evolving environment.

The event was chaired by Michael Hayman MBE and included Andy Ellis, Head of Strategy & Innovation at NatWest; Paul Koning from KPN; Emma McGuigan, Group Technology Officer at Accenture Communications, Media & Technology; Neil Parker, FX Market Strategist for NatWest Markets; Chris Sykes, CEO & Head of Al & Robotics at Volume and Terry Walby, CEO of Thoughtonomy.


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