Taking the pulse of Generative AI’s progress and new challenges: Adoption is moving fast, but new research finds organizational change is key

by | May 6, 2024 | Public Relations

The march to AI maturity is moving steadily along, with a large majority of brands and businesses embracing the tech and using it in the operations to some degree. With a focus on the productivity promises of Generative AI, new Deloitte research takes the pulse of where companies are along the maturity continuum, and what challenges are arising or lingering at this stage of implementation—revealing the main obstacles are not technical ones.

The second quarterly edition of the Deloitte AI Institutes State of Generative AI in the Enterprise report explores the current landscape of Generative AI adoption, and what steps organizations are taking to accelerate and scale for real value creation. The report is based on a survey of nearly 2,000 director to C-suite level respondents globally. While respondents have a range of self-reported levels of Generative AI expertise, all are experienced with AI and are piloting or implementing Generative AI in their organizations.

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“Business leaders are zeroing in on how Generative AI can help them meet their goals for efficiency and cost savings and many are looking into reinvesting savings in innovation and growth use cases—it is clear getting to scale, accurately measuring progress and selecting the right use cases will be critical factors in achieving value generation,” said Costi Perricos, Deloitte Global office of Generative AI leader, in a news release. “Although financial ROI is important, value drivers such as innovation, strategic positioning and competitive differentiation can be even more important.”

Organizations are beginning to adjust their talent strategies for the Generative AI era

The ability to scale is constrained by talent limitations. Nearly 4 in 10 (37 percent) leaders reported that their organizations were only slightly or not at all prepared to address talent concerns related to Generative AI adoption. But leaders are beginning to take action. Nearly three-quarters of survey respondents are looking to change their talent strategies in the next two years because of Generative AI, with a focus on altering work processes and upskilling/reskilling. In addition, many organizations are looking to increase their headcount in the near-term due to their Generative AI initiatives, with 39 percent looking to increase in the next 12 months (and 38 percent keeping their headcount unchanged).

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Trust in Generative AI has grown—with AI-savvy organizations prioritizing transparency

Lack of trust remains one of the main barriers to large-scale GenAI adoption and building widespread trust is essential for successful scaling. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of respondents say their organization’s trust in all forms of AI has increased since the emergence of Generative AI in 2022. But despite an increase in trust, only 36 percent of organizations report measuring worker trust and engagement as part of their talent strategy, and less than half of respondents are focused on processes to generate trust in Generative AI to a large extent. However, worries around trust and risk are not slowing adoption among GenAI experts. Organizations with high expertise are paying more attention to transparency with employees and focusing on quality input data and ensuring reliable outputs.

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Efficiency and productivity remain top desired benefits

As with the first edition of the quarterly survey published in January, improving efficiency and productivity remains the top anticipated benefit from Generative AI adoption by far. Many organizations report achieving the benefits they are seeking to some degree, but not to a large extent yet. Organizations with very high Generative AI expertise report achieving their anticipated benefits to a much greater degree, with 70 percent reporting that they have improved existing products and services and 63 percent have encouraged innovation and growth to a large extent. With the savings generated through their Generative AI initiatives, organizations are looking to attack value capture from both sides—45 percent of respondents plan to reinvest savings into innovation opportunities and 43% plan to improve operations across their business.

Generative AI adoption is moving fast—and organizations risk falling behind if they don’t keep pace

The pace of Generative AI adoption continues to move rapidly. In this wave of the survey, nearly half (47 percent) of all respondents say they are moving fast with their adoption—for those with very high expertise, it is 73 percent. Those experts are beginning to scale—adopting at higher levels across functions, investing more in tech infrastructure, and giving more of their workforce access to Generative AI tools.

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“As we move from possibilities to practicalities in enterprise Generative AI adoption, scaling up and skilling up go hand in hand—as evidenced by this quarter’s findings. Organizations are hiring new talent and training their workforce, with both technical and human-centered skills remaining valuable to successful deployment,” said Deborshi Dutt, artificial intelligence strategic growth offering lead and principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP, in the release. “To help stay competitive in an ever-evolving market, it is crucial for leaders to foster trust and remain focused on AI fluency when evolving their workforce to meet this moment of transformation.”

Download the full report here.

This is the second of a series of quarterly surveys intended to track the adoption of GenAI in the enterprise. This research builds from Deloitte’s previous “State of AI in the Enterprise” report which has been running for six years. This wave of the survey, conducted between January 2024 and February 2024, connected with 1,982 AI-savvy business and technology leaders directly involved in piloting or implementing Generative AI at major organizations across six countries and six industries: consumer; energy, resources and industrials; financial services; life sciences and health care; technology, media and telecommunications; and government and public services.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter