Article: Generative AI: Why are executives struggling to adopt?


Generative AI: Why are executives struggling to adopt?

Generative AI has been touted as the next big thing, capable of transforming industries from healthcare to entertainment. However, a recent survey by KPMG US suggests that executives may not be quite ready to fully embrace it yet.
Generative AI: Why are executives struggling to adopt?

Generative AI is no longer just the territory of data scientists. With AI technology at the fingertips of millions of people, executives are anticipating a seismic shift in the impact it will have on society in the next three to five years. Over 75% of executives believe that generative AI will have a greater impact on broader society than any other emerging technology.

As we approach the halfway point of 2023, it is increasingly evident that AI is transforming the way businesses operate. A new survey by KPMG U.S. suggests that executives are not quite ready to embrace generative AI just yet, despite the hype around its potential benefits. 

The study revealed that 65% of the 225 U.S. executives surveyed believe that generative AI will have a high or extremely high impact on their organisation within the next three to five years. However, the same percentage - 60% - said that they are still a year or two away from implementing their first generative AI solution.

Interestingly, generative AI's importance varies across different industries, with technology, media, telecommunications (TMT) and healthcare and life sciences (HCLS) executives feeling they have prioritised it appropriately. However, many companies feel they are not quite equipped to implement it successfully. Only a little less than half of the respondents said they have the necessary technology, talent, and governance in place to successfully implement generative AI.

The respondents, who came from businesses with revenue of $1 billion and above, cited cost and lack of clear business case as the two highest barriers to implementing generative AI. Additionally, cybersecurity and data privacy were top concerns for leaders, with 81% and 78% respectively.

A competitive differentiator 

Despite the challenges, executives see the highest impact of generative AI in enterprise-wide areas such as driving innovation, customer success, tech investment, and sales and marketing. 

Respondents in the survey also believe that generative AI will have the greatest transformational impact on research and development, product development, and operations. These functions are also where the largest number of respondents are currently exploring the implementation of generative AI.

To navigate the potential pitfalls of generative AI, companies are taking a hybrid approach of hiring and capability building among their teams across industry and function. But with the talent shortage in the tech industry, finding the right people to lead and manage generative AI implementation remains a challenge.

“CEOs and board members must personally invest time in understanding generative AI, and they must demand the same of their teams,” said Atif Zaim, National Managing Principal, Advisory.

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Topics: Technology, Leadership, #BusinessTransformation

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