Most businesses are planning to plough cash into artificial intelligence over the next two years as just one in ten leaders believes the UK to be a world leader in digital.
Some 85 per cent of the more than 50 organisations surveyed by Deloitte, which collectively are worth more than £200bn, said they will invest in the technology along with the Internet of Things (IoT).
AI was identified as potentially the most disruptive technology, though only 22 per cent have invested in it already.
By 2020 more than half will put in more than £10m into digital technology, which also includes areas such as robotics, cloud blockchain and virtual and augmented reality, while a third will invest that much this year alone the Digital Disruption Index found.
However, that amount is dwarfed by the size of overall IT budgets: a quarter of firms spend more than £75m each year.
“The first edition of the index shows that few UK businesses are successfully exploiting digital technologies and ways of working," said Deloitte's digital transformation leaders Paul Thompson.
"Strategies are not coherent, investment levels are modest and the relevant skills are in short supply. As a result, the UK is’t living up to its digital potential," he warned.
Only one in five leaders said they believe there are enough school leavers and graduates coming into the workforce with the right experience and three quarters say hiring people with the right skills is a challenge.