Six generative AI takeaways for CIOs

If you’re a chief information officer (CIO) or other technology leader, generative AI (GenAI) is likely creating a lot of pressure — and opportunity

On the one hand, your CEO and CFO want you to use it to cut costs and empower the business instantly. On the other hand, they also may expect you to help drive real enterprise change and fuel new business models. But that takes time and investment to establish a modern data architecture and build an AI factory. Meanwhile, a voice in your head may be asking: How can things be different this time around? You’ve seen other technologies come and go before they’ve been able to help drive meaningful outcomes for the business.

GenAI can help grow your team’s capacity, speed up your software development efforts, and accelerate your data-related initiatives, among other things. With a GenAI-powered IT function, you can be well positioned to scale GenAI across the business. Here are six insights to consider as you get started.

1. You may leverage GenAI in three ways — simultaneously

The first, often the most accessible way to provide that near-term value that your business leaders may be demanding, involves GenAI functionalities offered by cloud service providers and embedded in existing enterprise applications. The second “way in” offers a path to transformation and truly game-changing value: Your company may choose (as we do at PwC) to license a private version of a public GenAI foundation model. GenAI vendors also offer models that are pre-trained for specific domains such as software development, finance, legal or tax. These specialized models can accelerate your time to value, but you’ll still have to integrate them with your data and business processes, provide oversight and use them to help drive transformation.

2. GenAI enables IT transformation

A well-trained GenAI model can do for you what you do for the business by making your other tech more fit for purpose, more reliable, easier to use and more productive. It can break down features into user stories and generate high-quality acceptance criteria. GenAI is also becoming an essential tool in cyber defense. These are just a few examples. GenAI can transform almost every aspect of your function’s work.

3. To transform IT and the enterprise, focus on ‘patterns’ — not use cases

Just as a single GenAI model can transform software development, cybersecurity, cloud management and more, it can often deliver value throughout the enterprise. That’s why, to achieve value at scale, it’s best not to focus on individual use cases. Instead, look at “patterns” that can cover many use cases at once.

4. GenAI can transform your data initiatives

Getting a handle on all of your data has always been a priority. Now, the stakes are higher given its pivotal role in capitalizing on GenAI. But GenAI can also help address the challenge of cleansing, organizing and standardizing data. It can make sense of unstructured data such as that trapped in presentations, strategy documents, customer logs and countless other documents. It can automate much of the data cleansing process. That can make previously impractical data initiatives not just feasible, but attractive.

5. GenAI can elevate your value to the business

Even last year — practically a lifetime ago in generative AI advancement — our August 2023 Pulse Survey indicated that 84% of technology leaders expect to use GenAI to support new business models. That underlines just how important GenAI — and your role in implementing it — will be. You may, for example, need to work with business leads to figure out that new business model, educating them on what GenAI can do and how it can do it. If the path forward includes an AI factory, such as we have at PwC, you’ll likely take the lead on that too. GenAI requires new roles and skills, which other senior leaders may look to you for help in filling.

6. Because of GenAI, IT will need reinvention

As GenAI spreads, your team will likely need new roles and skills, though cross skilling is often possible. You might use GenAI to lessen the burden on your data scientists or software engineers, then supplement their current skill set so they can focus on GenAI model management or GenAI-specific governance. They may also need coaching to work more closely with the business to help teams understand and leverage GenAI in their work.

Read the full article

Via PwC

Chamber Updates Stay connected with Chamber activities