Generative AI: Are enterprises ready?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has rapidly evolved in recent years, becoming a cornerstone in driving transformative changes across diverse industry sectors. From automating production processes and predicting trends from complex data to facilitating customer engagement through AI-driven chatbots, the potential of this technology is vast, and we are only scratching the surface of its capabilities.

OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a prominent model in Generative AI, has witnessed rapid adoption in less than a year. Understandably, industry behemoths like Google, Microsoft, and Adobe have significantly invested in integrating Generative AI capabilities into their technological portfolios.

Unprecedented interest

The developments and user interest surge have prompted enterprises to expedite their implementation plans to enhance productivity and streamline processes. For instance, Microsoft’s AI-Software, Copilot, integrated into applications like Word, PowerPoint, and coding tools, has undergone extensive testing by numerous large enterprises.

During the recent 24th Annual CIO&Leader Conference, Future of Business, where over 200 of India’s top CIOs and future CIOs convened, a majority of 90% expressed a collective belief in the profound impact Generative AI would have on their organizations in the forthcoming years. Notably, this optimism extends to their CEOs, who foresee Generative AI as a game-changer in their operations.

According to our discussions, IT and Software Engineering lead the charge, with Customer Operations and Marketing/Sales also displaying significant interest in leveraging GenAI. 

A cautious approach

According to a recent survey titled, Enterprise generative AI: State of the market, conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBM IBV) in May 2023, in collaboration with Oxford Economics, enterprises are indeed embracing Generative AI but following a cautious approach.

The survey was conducted among nearly 400 tech and business executives across the US, Australia, Germany, India, Singapore, and the UK. Simultaneously, a study of 200 CEOs was conducted in the US. Business leaders were asked about their Generative AI adoption plans, anticipated benefits, and perceived challenges. 

According to the findings, the average ROI of Generative AI projects is on an upward course, with executives anticipating it to exceed 10% by 2025?consistently outpacing their cost of capital with AI. Simultaneously, it says enterprises are devising strategies to scale Generative AI adoption over the next two years. While only 23% of executives reported their organization’s involvement in piloting, implementing, operating, or optimizing Generative AI in 2022, this number is likely to rise to 62% by 2024.

Generative AI’s potential applications span multiple domains, including coding, customer operations, marketing, and sales. There is no doubt that enterprises are keen on leveraging these capabilities to augment productivity and efficiency within their respective domains.

Key considerations

Amidst the excitement and eagerness to integrate Generative AI, organizations are facing significant concerns before implementing GenAI capabilities:

Awareness vs. scale: Unlike earlier times when AI models were new and attention was limited, there is now substantial interest and understanding of GenAI capabilities. However, the major challenge for businesses and leaders lies in effectively delivering value at scale.

Privacy and security: Privacy and security concerns loom large, necessitating a meticulous and strategic approach to integration. Identifying the proper use cases for optimal integration requires thorough analysis and planning. Moreover, the challenge of training personnel effectively on these technologies persists, and several prominent consulting firms and technology product companies have imposed restrictions on using Generative AI tools due to these concerns.

Copyright infringements: Enterprises and CIOs express valid concerns regarding potential copyright issues tied to the output generated by these GenAI capabilities. Tech giants like Microsoft have proactively addressed this concern with initiatives like the Copilot Copyright Commitment.

Finding the right talent: Despite the immense potential of AI and Generative AI, organizations need more time to fully capitalize on it due to delayed processes and a limited talent pool well-equipped to manage and comprehend these technologies.

Limited real-world use cases: Real-world implementations of scaling Generative AI capabilities still need to be made available in India and globally. Indian CIOs adopt a cautious “try, test, and test” approach to navigate this developing landscape.

The road to full-fledged Generative AI adoption among enterprises may take longer, but the benefits for those who are undertaking this journey are indisputable. Organizations need effective strategies to harness their transformative potential. Practical use of these tools within the enterprise will require significant customization and investment. To overcome these challenges, business and technology leaders must construct an AI roadmap to understand how this technology will help their unique business goals.

Enterprises require a new breed of tech-savvy leaders who can bridge the readiness gap. These leaders should be adept at formulating risk and compliance strategies aligned with GenAI to speed up its adoption.

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