New SMB Group eBook Examines SMB Trust, Readiness and Safeguards  

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a hot topic, grabbing headlines and sparking discussions. Our recent survey, “The Impact of AI on SMBs,” conducted by SMB Group in June 2023, takes a closer look at how SMBs are engaging with AI.

In our new eBook, Impact of AI on SMBs Part Two: SMB Trust, Readiness and Safeguards (sponsored by Dell Technologies and Sage), we delve into SMB trust in using AI; knowledge and skills; and the checks and balances they want to ensure they can use AI safely and effectively. 

AI Adoption Among SMBs Is Picking Up Speed 

It’s clear that AI is no longer just a futuristic concept for SMBs; it’s a practical tool that many are incorporating into their operations. Specifically, 25% reported using AI for business tasks, 21% are experimenting with it, and about one-third are considering its adoption. 

SMBs Express a Moderate Level of Trust in AI for Business Use, But Want Regulation

Half of the survey respondents expressed a moderate level of trust in AI for business use, indicating confidence but also reflecting a degree of caution.SMBs want to ensure that AI is used ethically and responsibly: 59% believe that AI should be regulated by the government. However, only 44% think the government is up to the task. 

Overestimating AI Expertise 

Interestingly, it appears that many SMBs are overestimating the level of AI expertise in their organizations. 41% believe their companies have a moderate level of AI expertise, with an additional 18% rating their expertise as high. At the same time, less than one-third of SMB respondents say that they fully understand how AI works in the applications they use. 

This underscores the importance of SMBs investing in AI education. However, only about one-quarter of SMBs have assigned individuals or teams to educate their employees about AI. 

Building AI Skills Through Informal Methods

SMBs are primarily using informal approaches to build AI skills. Only about one-third plan to take formal training courses, and less than one-quarter intend to hire professionals.

As AI becomes an integral part of SMB operations, it’s critically important that they continue to build expertise in order to navigate the evolving AI landscape effectively and responsibly.

Demands for Transparency and Control

Transparency is a top priority for SMBs. They want clear information from vendors about data sources, data usage, the assumptions behind AI functionality, and an easy way to opt out of using their company data in vendor AI models. SMBs using AI for business tasks also emphasize the importance of maintaining control, including the ability to override AI-generated information and adjust automation levels. 

These are just a few of the key findings. Discover additional insights in the eBook, which provides more detailed data and information.

Companion eBook: Impact of AI on SMBs Part One: SMBs Embrace the Future

Our companion eBook, Impact of AI on SMBs Part One: SMBs Embrace the Future, shares key trends regarding SMBs’ interest in and use of AI, the impact they believe it is having on their business now, and how it will impact them in the future.  

SMB Group provides technology vendors with complete research results, advisory, and content services to help drive successful strategies to engage with SMBs. If you’d like to learn more about these services, and how we can help support your path forward, please contact Lisa Lincoln, Director of Client Services at

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