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Do Something About AI—But Know What You’re Doing

 When we began planning our new Fall event, Enterprise Connect AI, we started from a few basic premises:

  • AI is changing so fast that convening to talk about it once a year is not enough. We couldn’t say, last March, “OK everyone, we’ll talk to you again in a year about AI.” Even six months seems like an eternity these days.
  • It is in everyone’s best professional interests to care about AI. Even if your enterprise has adopted a go-slow approach and is being extra cautious about production deployment or even pilots, at some point AI will be part of your daily workflow. And given the above bullet point, the pace at which AI comes at you may accelerate unexpectedly.

I’ve talked to quite a few enterprise folks who belong to that go-slow category, whether their concerns center around compliance or ROI—or both. So it’s useful to get a high-level view of just what the universe of enterprise AI strategies looks like. Not surprisingly, it seems to be a bell curve stretching from speedy adoption to outright aversion.

A just-released survey conducted by HFS Research in cooperation with Genpact, a professional services firm, asked over 500 senior executives to characterize their enterprise’s approach to AI deployment, and came back with the following breakdown:

  • Pioneers (5%): Leading integration and setting benchmarks, Pioneer organizations are seeking direct growth outcomes from Gen AI, such as increased market share and competitive advantage.
  • Fast Followers (27%): Strategically deploying Gen AI for efficiency gains, Fast Followers are focused on using Gen AI to enhance customer experience.
  • Wait and Watch (45%): Delaying investment, Wait and Watch enterprises aim to leverage Gen AI primarily for operational efficiency and productivity.
  • Deniers (23%): Skeptical of Gen AI, Deniers are missing out on potential innovations.

So if you’re feeling left behind because your enterprise has been keeping a tight rein on AI implementation, you’re not alone.

However, there’s a major note of caution: A majority of those surveyed are voting with their budget dollars in favor of AI: “Investment data shows 51% of executives reallocating funds, primarily from IT infrastructure and software development,” the release states.

If your company is among that 51% shifting budget to AI, it’s probably wise to get on board with this, because your leadership is telling you that’s where priorities have moved. What that means will vary with the enterprise, of course, but by definition, even some of those in the Watch and Wait category must be reallocating funds to shift toward more of an AI emphasis.

AI in general, and Generative AI in particular, is not all-or-nothing. It’s very much a “something,” as in, you need to be doing something about AI—and not in the “look busy” sense of putting on a show of exploring AI while actually being convinced you’ve got lots of time to move whenever things finally shake out.

AI is a big change, and enterprises are big organizations, and we know that when you put those two things together, bad things can happen to those who aren’t prepared. At Enterprise Connect AI—Oct. 1 – 2 at the Santa Clara, CA, Convention Center—our aim is to help you get prepared and move forward with AI at the fastest pace that’s compatible with your enterprise’s compliance and ROI imperatives. Registration is open, and I hope you can join us.