Digital Transformation and AI: Opportunities and Challenges in the Business Landscape

The rapidly evolving landscape of digital technology and artificial intelligence (AI) was at the heart of a recent round table event attended by key industry figures, including Perninder Dhadwar, CEO of Imobisoft. The discussion, organized by Insider, brought together a diverse group of fast-growing companies, funders, advisors, and marketers to explore how AI is transforming business operations, the opportunities it presents, and the challenges it brings.

The Role of AI in Business

Mark Wilson, Managing Partner at Headpoint Advisors, emphasized that AI’s primary value lies in automating repetitive, time-consuming tasks, thus freeing up human resources for more strategic and complex problem-solving. However, Wilson cautioned against over-reliance on AI, especially for customer-facing decisions, highlighting the need for experienced professionals to interpret AI outputs and ensure quality control. This shift could also lead to a change in billing practices, from time-based to solution-based payments.

Investment and Adoption of AI

David Bellis, an investor with BGF, pointed out that for AI-powered businesses to attract investment, they must clearly identify and address specific problems that AI can solve, ensuring a ready customer base for their solutions. Despite discussions of AI fatigue, Bellis believes we are only beginning to see the potential of AI, with many businesses now integrating AI to enhance their existing operations.

Skills and Workforce Development

Abdul Sadka, Director of the Aston Digital Futures Institute, highlighted the critical importance of ongoing skills development in AI. As AI technologies advance rapidly, there is a pressing need for continuous upskilling and reskilling to keep the workforce adept and relevant. Universities play a crucial role in providing this training through degree apprenticeships and continuous professional development programs.

Operational Efficiency and Ethical Considerations

Alexandra Kalu from Fieldfisher discussed how AI is improving operational efficiency within the legal sector. By automating routine tasks, firms can enhance productivity, although this shift requires significant upskilling and training of staff. Kalu also raised concerns about data privacy and ethical considerations when using third-party AI providers, stressing the importance of maintaining client trust.

Challenges for SMEs and Trust Issues

Perninder Dhadwar, CEO of Imobisoft, noted that while larger companies often push for AI adoption, smaller businesses face challenges due to high investment costs and the current limitations of AI. Dhadwar emphasized the importance of problem-solving over technology for its own sake and highlighted the risk of losing expertise if junior staff are not adequately trained due to AI taking over basic tasks.

Innovation and Real-World Application

Yadu Szmulewicz of Conigital and Richard Smith of PhysioGenie Technology underscored the necessity of demonstrating real-world benefits and efficiencies from AI. Szmulewicz warned against over-reliance on AI by junior staff, which could lead to a future lack of experienced professionals capable of critical evaluation. Smith added that innovative data collection methods, such as gamification, can enhance AI training and development.

Building Trust and Maintaining a Human Element

Rachael Essex, Marketing Manager at Headpoint Advisors, stressed the importance of building trust in AI technologies among the general public. Despite AI’s capabilities, it is crucial to maintain a human touch in client interactions and marketing efforts to alleviate fears and skepticism about AI and big data.


The round table event illuminated the multifaceted impact of AI on the business landscape. While AI offers significant opportunities for enhancing efficiency and solving complex problems, it also presents challenges related to skills development, ethical considerations, and maintaining trust. Leaders like Perninder Dhadwar of Imobisoft play a crucial role in navigating these challenges, ensuring that AI’s adoption is thoughtful, strategic, and ultimately beneficial for both businesses and their clients.

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