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Gartner: CIOs must prepare for generative AI disruption

The growth of generative AI poses risks and opportunities for IT and business leaders

Business leaders believe generative AI (GenAI) will influence how they create a more flexible and adaptable organisation that is better prepared for the future.
According to Gartner, the productivity value of AI will be recognised as a primary economic indicator of national power by 2027.

“GenAI presents an opportunity to accomplish things never before possible in the scope of human existence,” said Daryl Plummer, distinguished vice-analyst at Gartner. “CIOs and executive leaders will embrace the risks of using GenAI so they can reap the unprecedented benefits.”

Plummer said that this year generative AI has been put “at the heart of every strategic decision”. Gartner’s analysis of technology trends shows that over the past year, every other technology-driven innovation has been pushed out of the spotlight. “GenAI has broken the mould and has kept building more excitement,” added Plummer. 

Gartner predicted that the rate of unionisation among knowledge workers will increase by 1,000% by 2028, motivated by the adoption of GenAI.

This is because many business leaders believe AI will cause of positions being eliminated. Gartner urged executives to communicate clearly with their employees their intent for internal AI deployments to avoid the unintended consequences of AI anxiety building among staff. Gartner warned that organisations that adopt generative and fail to clearly address AI anxiety among their knowledge workers will experience 20% higher rates of turnover.  
Beyond business leaders, Gartner noted that governments also have put in place  a strong commitment to AI and are prioritising strategies and plans that recognise AI as a key technology in both private and public sectors. This includes incorporating AI into long-term national planning, which is being reinforced through the implementation of corresponding acts and regulations to bolster AI initiatives.

“Implementation at a national level will solidify AI as a catalyst for enhancing productivity to boost the digital economy,” said Plummer. “Successful implementation of large-scale AI initiatives necessitates the support and collaboration of diverse stakeholders, showcasing the mobilisation and convening ability of national resources.”

Among the key application areas for CIOs and IT leaders is the ability for generative AI to help IT departments manage older systems. According to Gartner, generative AI tools will be used to explain legacy business applications and create appropriate replacements, reducing modernisation costs by 70%, by 2027.

Explaining the opportunity, Plummer said: “The maturity of large language models (LLMs) offers an opportunity for CIOs to find credible and long-awaited mechanism for modernising legacy business applications in a cost-effective manner.”

He recommended that CIOs create dedicated testing units to test the output generated by large language models. Plummer also recommended CIOs establish change management and upskilling processes to enable the workforce to maximise productivity throughout the modernisation cycle.

Alongside the opportunities, Gartner also identified malinformation as a risk that is set to increase as generative AI takes off. “The rapid rise of GenAI has put fire under the feet of regulators about including malinformation as one of the risks associated with the increasing power and availability of GenAI to bad actors,” said Plummer.

“Companies who maintain a close watch on bad actors, regulators and providers of tools and technology that help combat malinformation are likely to gain significant advantage over competitors.”

Read more about generative AI in business

  • It is often the small things that have the greatest impact on a successful digital transformation project.
  • McKinsey partner explains the symbiotic relationship between generative AI and cloud, enabling organisations to speed up cloud migration and harness the benefits of AI.

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