Join top executives in San Francisco July 11-12 and learn how business leaders are anticipating the generative AI revolution. Learn more
A recent studies conducted by IT solutions integrator Insight Enterprises and research firm The Harris Poll shed light on the growing adoption of generative AI among enterprises, while also revealing concerns about its implementation.
The study indicates that the majority of business leaders of Fortune 500 companies (72%) plan to incorporate generative AI within the next three years to improve employee productivity.
However, about half of respondents expressed reservations about implementing these technologies. The top concerns cited were quality and control (51%) and safety and security risks (49%).
Additionally, the study found that 90% of business leaders expect the adoption of generative AI will impact specific organizational roles.
Analysts and data scientists emerged as the roles leaders thought were most likely to be interested (44%), followed by software developers and testers (37%) and professionals in financial operations and communications roles (32% and 30%).
“Because generative AI can evaluate millions of datasets and find patterns better than any human, it is extremely effective at identifying correlations in research data and providing suggestions on potential paths for further research,” he told VentureBeat. Matt Jackson, global CTO of Insight. “It can use those same capabilities to find patterns in code repositories and generate highly effective software.”
Helping employee productivity through generative AI
According to the study, business leaders want to embrace generative AI primarily to improve employee productivity and customer service.
Two-thirds (66%) of these leaders recognize the potential of technology to improve customer service, with 44% eager to deliver personalized customer experiences through generation AI.
“We’re seeing business leaders, in general, excited about the potential of generative AI, primarily because it can drive both productivity improvements and greater customer engagement,” Insight’s Jackson told VentureBeat. “These data show ample opportunity for internal and external stakeholders to leverage generative AI as a competitive advantage, helping them work ‘smarter’, not ‘harder’.”
The study reveals that nearly half of business leaders (53%) expect gen AI to assist in research and development, while others expect it to automate software development.
Jackson says that generative AI and large language models (LLMs) will revolutionize business interactions and decision making. He emphasized that the potential use cases for these technologies are virtually limitless, leading to a fundamental shift in the nature of work.
He said that generative AI is in line with the “two kinds of innovation” theory. Sustained innovation benefits established industry leaders, while when disruptive innovation emerges, it creates new markets and challenges existing businesses.
“This prompts us to ask: Is this technology primarily serving as an ‘innovation prop’, to the benefit of dominant hyper-scalers like Microsoft, which already wield the necessary computing power and research capabilities? Or does it qualify as “disruptive innovation,” fostering opportunities for an entirely new business ecosystem?” Jackson said. “I predict both scenarios will prove accurate. However, these tools introduce compelling possibilities for business expansion, the operational efficiency and the creation of innovative products.
Lingering corporate concerns about generative AI
The study found that over a quarter of professionals (26%) express concern about the workforce shift caused by the implementation of Generative AI.
Respondents also cited specific concerns, including the potential limitation of human innovation (39%), budgetary constraints (38%) and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements (35%). Additionally, 38% expressed concerns about human error due to a lack of understanding of how to use the tool or accidental data breaches in their organization.
“These data indicate that people are still at the heart of decision making and that we cannot become overly dependent on AI. It can help people become more productive and it can help businesses grow without the need to downsize their workforce, but generative AI in its current form cannot replace the creative potential of a human being,” Jackson said. “Regardless of industry, businesses are powered by – and all around – by people. Generative AI shouldn’t get in the way. People’s needs should be at the forefront of any decision making related to Generative AI.”
Jackson emphasized the importance of business decision makers carefully considering how to effectively leverage this technology. He said the initial step is to establish strong governance, and the stage involves developing secure, customized solutions across the company.
“Enterprises need to build guardrails for testing and learning to minimize security risks. A policy framework that is reviewed on an ongoing basis should help team members understand the good the technology can achieve as well as its limitations and drawbacks,” he said. “It is encouraging to see these practices are already in place – our The research also found that 81% of business leaders say their company has already established or implemented policies/strategies related to generative AI or is currently in the process of doing so.”
Insight Enterprises and The Harris Poll conducted a targeted survey of 405 US respondents age 25 and older, all in full-time management positions or above at companies with more than 1,000 employees.
Insight said the survey results were measured for sampling accuracy using a credible Bayesian range from The Harris Poll.
VentureBeat’s mission it is to be a digital city square for technical decision makers to gain insights into transformative business technology and transactions. Discover our Briefings.