Companies Are Exiting the AI “Infatuation” Stage

It’s not all about ROI, executives say.

Are companies pumping the breaks with their artificial intelligence relationships?

That’s the call from a new Deloitte study titled “State of Generative AI in the Enterprise” for Q2, 2024. The study regularly tracks 2,000 senior executives around the globe, all of whom have either already deployed AI in their workforce or plan to do so in 2024.

In the report, Deloitte concludes that “AI-savvy” companies are “moving past the infatuation stage” with Gen AI and are entering a new phase where they want to “best overcome technical and organizational barriers to create value at scale.”

Here are three additional takeaways from the Deloitte study.

Getting aggressive on AI skills. Approximately 75% of organizations are looking to change their talent strategies in the next two years due to GenAI, focusing on altering work processes, upskilling and reskilling. Another 40% said they plan new hiring campaigns to optimize their Gen AI rollouts.

“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 technical and human-centered skills remaining valuable to successful deployment,” said Deborshi Dutt, artificial intelligence strategic growth offering lead and principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “To help stay competitive in an ever-evolving market, leaders must foster trust and remain focused on AI fluency when evolving their workforce to meet this moment of transformation.”

Regaining trust is a big priority. Senior executives told Deloitte that a “lack of trust” is a big problem in their enterprises. In fact, company leaders feel they may be unable to “scale up” without that trust. Under 40% of global firms say they’re tracking employee trust and engagement as part of their talent strategy, and “less than half” of senior execs are building effective processes to generate trust in Generative AI.

Furthermore, the more team members seem to know about Gen AI, the higher the level of trust in the ground-breaking technology. That likely explains the explosion in AI upskilling programming being pushed by the C-suite.

“Organizations with high expertise are paying more attention to transparency with employees and are focused on quality input data, and ensuring reliable outputs,” Deloitte reported.

Efficiency and productivity remain the top desired benefits. Tracking efficiency and performance is a big deal in Q2 2024.

Not much has changed since the first quarter of 2024 when Deloitte reported that boosting efficiency and productivity are the “twin pillar” AI measurement metrics for the C-Suite.

“Many organizations report achieving the benefits they seek to some degree, but not to a large extent yet,” the new report stated. “Organizations with very high Generative AI expertise report achieving their anticipated benefits to a much greater degree, with 70% reporting that they have improved existing products and services and 63% have encouraged innovation and growth to a large extent.”

Senior executives are also doubling down and are using the savings they’ve gained from their Gen AI implementations to “value capture from both sides,” Deloitte noted.

“Zeroing In”

45% of study respondents also plan to reinvest savings into new business opportunities, and 43% say the cash is steered into streamlining business operations.

“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,” the report concluded.

Additionally, it’s increasingly apparent that accurately measuring progress and selecting the best use cases “will be critical factors in achieving value generation,” said Costi Perricos, Deloitte global office of Generative AI leader. “Although financial ROI is important, value drivers such as innovation, strategic positioning, and competitive differentiation can be even more important.”

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