- Despite concerns over data governance and privacy, more than two-thirds of executives say the benefits of implementing generative AI outweigh the potential risks, according to a Gartner report published Wednesday.
- Seven in 10 executives say their companies are investigating or exploring generative AI, while 19% have advanced pilots or are in production. The firm surveyed more than 2,500 executives during a webinar series in March and April.
- While the cost-cutting and efficiency upsides to generative AI have made headlines, the top driver for enterprise adoption is customer experience, according to 38% of respondents. Just 17% are deploying the technology focused on cost optimization.
Providers of core technology services have quickly responded with new features and services as enterprise demand for generative AI increases.
The three major hyperscale cloud providers — led by Microsoft, an early adopter of the technology thanks to its investment in OpenAI — have each launched features to accelerate the delivery and support of generative AI capabilities.
And though economic concerns persist, cost optimization was not among the top drivers of generative AI adoption, according to the survey.
CEOs and shareholders aren't solely focused on the cost line, said Frances Karamouzis, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner. They're looking for growth opportunities, "on creating new customers, new products, new services," she said.
Risk remains top of mind for some leaders, especially those in highly-regulated business verticals.
Despite broad exploration, a small number of executives — 5% — believe risks still outweigh the potential benefits, according to the Gartner survey.
Potential risks to consider include security, liability and customer protection, as well as reputational loss. Additionally, leaders contend with ethical, social and labor issues as they weigh the merits of generative AI.
But a low barrier of entry to generative AI services encouraged low-stakes experimental projects according to Karamouzis. The challenge is to prioritize and vet potential use cases, with risk tolerance in mind.
Projects picked for development should be specific to the enterprise and sector, said Karamouzis. Enterprise leaders should take a portfolio-based approach, where they can carry out concurrent projects rather than a single initiative according to their appetite for risk.
Seven in 10 executives believe generative AI in the enterprise could introduce new security exposure to company data, according to a Salesforce survey. Some industry leaders even expect threat actors could weaponize ChatGPT to carry out cyberattacks.