Enterprises’ use of AI technologies is on the rise

Posted on 15 September 2023, 8:00

Statistics Estonia’s survey “Information technology in enterprises” shows that the use of artificial intelligence (AI) by Estonian enterprises is steadily increasing. The use of data analytics is also growing.

Based on the first quarter of 2023, 5% of enterprises have used at least one AI technology – this is 2% more than in 2021 when the use of AI was first studied with this survey. Tiina Pärson, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that the use of AI is more common among large enterprises, as more than a fifth of them have used AI technologies. “The most often used AI technologies are text mining, machine learning (deep learning), and image recognition,” added Pärson. The use of ChatGPT, the AI-powered chatbot that gained popularity this year, was not yet studied in this survey because the questionnaire was finalised before the launch of that application.

By economic activity, use of AI technologies is the highest among enterprises engaged in financial and insurance activities (28%), information and communication (21%), and energy (14%). In manufacturing as a whole, AI technologies have been used by 3% of enterprises. But this share was 12% among enterprises engaged in the manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products.

Enterprises using AI technologies by economic activity, 2023

1.7% of enterprises have used AI for marketing or sales, and 1.7% for ICT security. 1.6% have used AI for organising business administration processes, and 1.2% for improving production processes. Additionally, enterprises have used AI technologies for logistics, for accounting, auditing or finance management, and for research and development or innovation activities.

Enterprises usually acquire AI technologies by purchasing ready-to-use commercial software (3.2%), by purchasing and modifying commercial software to suit the enterprise’s needs (2.8%), or by using open-source software or systems that are modified by the enterprise’s employees (1.6%). In nearly 2% of enterprises, the AI technologies were developed by the enterprise’s own employees.

Cloud computing services

Buying cloud computing services is a growing trend among enterprises – cloud services are used by 58% of enterprises. E-mail services are the main type of cloud service bought by enterprises (48%). Compared with 2021, there has been a significant rise in the use of online backup services, whereby critical business data or various types of files are automatically and regularly backed up off-site to a service provider’s server. 44% of enterprises have bought online backup services (37% in 2021). There has also been an increase in the share of enterprises who have bought security software applications (e.g. antivirus or network access control solutions) as a cloud computing service.

Data analytics

A great advantage of the digital era is access to a huge amount of data which can provide enterprises with valuable information about market demand, consumer behaviour as well as trends and competition in their specific area of activity. In the first quarter of 2023, data analytics was used by 19% of enterprises who have employees with the required qualifications. Data analytics was used by 10% of small enterprises (with 10–19 employees) and by 65% of large enterprises. 15% of enterprises have applied data analytics to transactional data, i.e. purchases or payment data received from the resource planning system of the enterprise or online store, or from another source. 13% of

Enterprises using data analytics by data source and size class, 2023

enterprises have used data analytics for customer data, such as the customer’s purchase details, location, preferences, feedback and searches within the CRM system or the enterprise’s website. 12% of enterprises have purchased data analytics services from an external provider.

Statistics Estonia has studied the use of ICT in enterprises since 2001. The 2023 survey included 3,470 enterprises. Enterprises with 10 or more employees are surveyed.

See also the dedicated section on information and communication technologies.

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database.

When using Statistics Estonia’s data and graphs, please indicate the source.

For further information:

Helen Maria Raadik
Media Relations Manager
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9181
press [at]

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