Act now or get left behind: IT leaders urge businesses to take action on GenAI

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This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: Act now or get left behind: IT leaders urge businesses to take action on GenAI.

As organisations rapidly adopt mainstream Generative AI tools, a new report from Europe’s largest dedicated Google Cloud-only partners Appsbroker and CTS finds that an almost unanimous 99% (100%) of IT leaders believe GenAI could positively impact their businesses.

However, to achieve the benefits and to avoid being left behind, leaders recognise that they must rapidly overcome their organisations' skills shortages and adoption challenges.

The report – The GenAI Pulse Check: Are We Ready for the New AI-Enabled Age? – details the findings of an independent survey of 150 IT leaders. The findings show that: 

  • 83% (76%) of IT leaders believe GenAI technology will transform every facet of society and business, with 78% (80%) saying that understanding its potentially disruptive impact is a top business priority. 
  • Almost 9 in 10 (86%) (82%) confirm GenAI has already started to have an impact on their business, with 41% (35%) saying this has been either ‘major’ or ‘totally transformative’.
  • A quarter (18%) of businesses are ‘fully embracing’ AI, while 56% (76%) say they are ‘interested and experimenting’, and 40% (44%) describe their organisation as being ‘very well positioned’ to take advantage of the technology.  

Despite the move towards GenAI, concerns are mounting that inaction could mean businesses are left behind. Almost half (49%) (44%) of IT leaders are increasingly frustrated that their business isn’t taking a more forward-looking position on GenAI. Furthermore, 66% (73%) believe a lack of imagination around what the technology can do will mean their business will fall behind the competition, with 74% (84%) worried they will become irrelevant if their organisation does not quickly get to grips with the technology. 57% (60%) said a lack of skills and resources was holding them back from taking advantage of GenAI. A further 56% (80%) say issues around the quality and accuracy of the outputs are a barrier, while 56% (60%) cited concerns over the impact on roles. . 

“It’s clear there is a massive opportunity to positively transform businesses and drive innovation with GenAI. A healthy dose of concern around missing out to the competition is no bad thing - it helps to drive people forward,” said Ryan den Rooijen, Chief Operating Officer at Appsbroker and CTS. “But people must be careful not to underestimate the work involved in bringing GenAI to life. There is a big difference between playing with Bard and other GenAI tools, and deploying GenAI within an enterprise setting. Strong data foundations are needed to deliver impact at scale.”

Despite the concerns around AI adoption, leaders remain ambitious about how the technology can drive positive business impacts. 59% (47%) of IT leaders want to use GenAI to deliver operational efficiency and cost savings, while 57% (56%) want to drive faster, more accurate insights from complex data. 55% (60%) want to use it for fraud detection and security, or to improve their customer experience.

Matthew Penton, Head of Data and Analytics for Appsbroker and CTS, added: “Strong data foundations are required to support AI use cases, alongside a combination of skills and a clear strategy. This is the formula to drive the successful development and implementation of AI solutions and to avoid them becoming a gimmicky bolt-on or worse – just failing completely. It’s likely that fewer than 1 in 20 companies will succeed, but the ones that do will be leading the market and eating everyone’s lunch.” 

“It’s critical that businesses take the time to understand the technology, assess its potential uses, and plan for the wider impacts within their businesses and beyond. The more due diligence that businesses do, the more likely they will be to succeed.” 

Survey methodology 

Appsbroker and CTS worked with independent surveyor Sapio Research to survey 150 UK IT decision makers, working in organisations with 500+ employees. The interviews were conducted online by Sapio in September 2023, using an email invitation and an online survey.

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