The majority of UK businesses are planning to invest in artificial intelligence over the next three years, according to a new survey by Deloitte.

The findings come from the first edition of the Digital Disruption Index, a new regular report from Deloitte which includes responses from 51 organisations with a combined market value of £229bn.

Approximately 85 per cent of the survey respondents said they will invest in AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) in the next three years.

By 2020, more than half will invest more than £10m in digital technologies, which also includes areas such as cloud, robotics, blockchain and virtual and augmented reality.

Of all of the digital technologies surveyed, executives believe AI will have the biggest impact on their organisations in the future, but only 22 per cent have already invested in it.

Paul Thompson, UK digital transformation leader at Deloitte, said: "The first edition of the index shows that few UK businesses are successfully exploiting digital technologies and ways of working.

"Strategies are not coherent, investment levels are modest and the relevant skills are in short supply.

“As a result, the UK isn’t living up to its digital potential."

The Deloitte survey also found that only 20 per cent of leaders believe there are enough school leavers and graduates entering the labour market with the appropriate digital skills and experience.

Three-quarters of executives face challenges recruiting the right digital skills. Leaders say data scientists and analysts are the most important roles for a successful digital strategy, but these are also the most difficult digital roles to retain and recruit.

Thompson added: “The UK has the opportunity to be a market-leader in harnessing and exploiting the opportunities digital brings, including increased productivity and driving growth. But it’s clear that digital skills, at all levels, are in short supply and high demand.

"In our view, digital represents both a business and public policy issue which needs educators, policymakers and business to work more closely together, in order to meet the current and future demands of the UK’s economy."