Beyond the Buzz: Making Generative AI Work for Your Business

We’re at the threshold of something really big with Generative AI right now, teeming with crazy potential but also drowning in hype. It’s like a flashback to when the Internet was going to change everything in about 30 seconds. Yet, it took over a decade. Same with the Cloud that promised budget-friendly efficiency. It’s been years since we first saw the cloud potential – but most companies are still playing catch-up.

And now we have Generative AI, a potentially bigger disruption than the Internet. It’s reshaping what was possible with AI by making it super inclusive; no Ph.D.s in data science needed! Obviously, everyone is excited and clamoring to adopt it. But is that the right way to go about it?

Six considerations to adopt Gen AI

The big question for leaders is: how do you cut through the buzz and actually make it work for your business? Here’s a guide:

  1. Understand the technology – What’s this tech capable of? What can it really do today, tomorrow? What is the value that it’s delivering? It’s the CIO’s role to help paint a picture of what could be (the art of the possible) and then how to actually make it happen (the art of the practical).
  2. Know the business problem you are trying to solve – Don’t run around with an AI hammer looking for a nail – first figure out the problem. Don’t invest in tech based on trends; invest to solve real business issues.
  3. Take a structured and iterative approach – Don’t react quickly just to kick off a million projects and create chaos. Pick up a few opportunities to experiment on and get a better handle on the capabilities, then test and iterate to get the best outcomes.
  4. Don’t introduce unnecessary risk – We have to tread carefully in highly regulated industries like banking and insurance. Gen AI is a new playing field that even regulators struggle to pin down. Be very careful of how you deploy it. Assess the risks, put controls in place, and then test and iterate those controls as the tech evolves.   
  5. Make strategic build or buy decisions – As a CIO, it’s about the ‘buy, partner, build’ approach. First, see if you can buy a solution. If not, partner up with someone who’s got what you need. And if all else fails, then you build it yourself.
  6. Think out of the box to address ethical concerns – As the tech is still evolving, steer clear of areas where biases might affect outcomes. For instance, it’s a poor idea to leave the final claim payout decision on an AI model because we don’t yet know how it will make that decision. Instead, use it to orchestrate information and give recommendations to a human who makes the final call.   

The recipe for success: CEO + CIO partnership

As tech evolution accelerates, it might feel that you might just miss the whole party if you’re not quick on the uptake. But let’s get real – we’ve been hearing ‘tech moves fast’ since the dawn of the Internet. Sure, things are speeding up and will continue to do so, but don’t rush in without a game plan. Take time to experiment, talk to your peers, and find out what works for you.

This is where the CIO and CEO partnership becomes really important to ensure they are making the right commitments and ensuring the AI journey is structured and aligned with the overall business strategy. It’s not just about being in the know; it’s about having a clear game plan for how your business is going to ride this wave and communicating it consistently.

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