AI for business

Senior decision makers excited by GenAI but underprepared

Wealth of possibilities for new technology undermined by lack of awareness when it comes to security, data, governance
Image: Stockfresh

13 June 2024

A study of 200 senior key decision makers in the UK & Ireland has revealed that strong enthusiasm for generative AI (GenAI) is being tempered by a lack of strategic planning and understandingof data privacy, security, and governance.

Conducted by Coleman Parkes Research for SAS, the survey spoke GenAI strategy and data analytics decision makers to pulse check major areas of investment and the hurdles organisations are facing around the technology.

The study found six in 10 organisations (62%) have begun to implement GenAI, including 9% that have fully integrated the technology at an enterprise level, indicating a strong desire to harness its capabilities after it shot to prominence when ChatGPT launched in 2022.

Of those organisations to adopt GenAI, 96%, reported improved employee experience and satisfaction, 90% said that they were saving on operational costs, and 94% stated that customer retention was higher.

The study also revealed if companies hadn’t yet implemented GenAI, then they are planning to, with the vast majority (90%) plan to invest in GenAI for 2024/25, and almost one in five said they had plans to roll it out at enterprise level.

But this enthusiasm for the capability of GenAI and what it can achieve for businesses, is being hampered by a lack of understanding. The vast majority (96%) of senior decision-makers admitted to not fully understanding GenAI or its potential impact on business processes.

Less than one in 10 organisations in the UK & Ireland (8%) had undergone the preparation needed to comply with GenAI regulations, while 95% lacked a comprehensive governance framework for GenAI.

Three-quarters of decision makers admitted they were concerned about data privacy (75%) and security (72%) when it came to using the technology, and fewer than one in 20 organisations (4%) provided a high level of training on GenAI governance and monitoring. Furthermore, almost eight in 10 organisations (77%) were unable to continuously monitor their GenAI systems.

Speaking on the findings, Dr Iain Brown, head of data science at SAS Northern Europe, said: “It’s good to see that decision-makers in the UK and Ireland recognise that GenAI can drive innovation, new conversational experiences, and operational efficiency but the findings indicate that many businesses have not fully prepared to successfully deploy it.

“Firms are encountering difficulties with implementation too and all these issues threaten to waste resources, reduce competitiveness and even render them legally non-compliant. Businesses need to spend significant time developing a progressive GenAI strategy that ensures integration, governance and explainability. We are looking forward to supporting our customers in these areas and we know our technology can accelerate their journey to trustworthy GenAI.”

TechCentral Reporters

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