According to a recent poll conducted by management consulting company Gartner, Inc., over 1,400 executive leaders revealed that 45 percent are currently in the piloting phase of generative AI (GenAI), with an additional 10 percent having already implemented GenAI solutions. These findings indicate a substantial rise compared to a previous Gartner poll conducted in March and April 2023, where only 15 percent were piloting GenAI and 4 percent had reached the production stage.
“Organizations are not just talking about GenAI – they’re investing time, money and resources to move it forward and drive business outcomes,” said Frances Karamouzis, vice president analyst at Gartner. “In fact, 55 percent of organizations reported increasing investment in GenAI since it surged into the public domain ten months ago. GenAI is now on CEOs’ and boards’ agendas as they seek to take advantage of the transformative potential of this technology.”
A total of 1,419 participants took part in the survey conducted during a Gartner webinar in September 2023. The webinar specifically delved into the enterprise costs and risks related to GenAI. It is worth noting that the poll results are not indicative of global findings or the comprehensive market perspective.
Gen AI investments outweigh the risks
In the recent poll, a significant 78 percent of respondents expressed their belief that the advantages of GenAI surpass its associated risks. This percentage represents an increase from the earlier poll, where 68 percent of respondents held the same viewpoint.
“Executives are taking a bolder stance on generative AI as they see the profound ways that it can drive innovation, optimization and disruption,” said Karamouzis. “Business and IT leaders understand that the ‘wait and see’ approach is riskier than investing.”
Scaling across multiple business functions
According to the poll results, 45 percent of enterprises are expanding their investments in generative AI across various business functions, while 22 percent are scaling it across more than three different functions. The function with the highest adoption or investment rate in generative AI is software development, closely followed by marketing and customer service.
Among the respondents, 30 percent highlighted growth initiatives as the primary business focus for their GenAI investments. Cost optimization ranked second at 26 percent, while enhancing customer experience and retention stood at 24 percent.
“Many organizations began their AI journey with an overemphasis on cost optimization and efficiency,” said Karamouzis. “Savvy enterprises have moved beyond this to focus initiatives on efficacy, quantifiable value and business agility in products and services. This ensures visibility, trust and synergy among stakeholders, and most importantly, alignment to business outcomes.”
Key technologies impacting organizations
Gartner forecasts that by 2026, over 80 percent of enterprises will have utilized GenAI application programming interfaces (APIs) or models, and/or implemented GenAI-enabled applications in production environments. This represents a substantial increase from the less than 5 percent adoption rate observed in 2023.
According to the 2023 Gartner Hype Cycle for GenAI, three innovations are expected to have a significant impact on organizations over the next decade. These include GenAI-enabled applications, foundation models, and AI trust, risk, and security management (AI TRiSM).
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