How CIOs Can Cut Through the Gen AI Noise: Gartner

Liz Dominguez
Managing Editor
artificial intelligence

Generative AI has flooded the news cycles, with many companies participating as early investors while others eye the tech with intrigue or concern. 

Regardless of where they are in their gen AI journey, however, CIOs have a major role in how they shape AI, and how AI shapes organizations, per Gartner. 

The company tackled the topic during its IT Symposium/XPO, sharing predictions that gen AI will be a workforce partner for 90% of companies worldwide by 2025. Survey results showed that company CEOs are tapping CIOs to lead the effort. 

“More and more, AI will be jointly delivered by IT and the wider enterprise,” said Gabriela Vogel, senior director analyst at Gartner. “To succeed, the whole executive team must be engaged. This provides a tremendous opportunity for CIOs to make a difference.”

Two Types of AI

Everyday AI: 

  • Focused on productivity
  • “Everyone will have access to the same tools, and it will not provide a “sustainable competitive advantage,” said Mesaglio

Game-Changing AI:

  • Focused on creativity
  • “Either it creates new results, via AI-enabled products and services; or it creates new ways to create new results, such as with AI-enabled new core capabilities,” said Mesaglio

How CIOs Are Getting Teams AI-Ready

Gen AI’s myriad applications and varying levels of complexity contribute to the deafening waves of noise crashing against the consumer goods industry. CIOs can help cut through that complexity and identify opportunities within their organizations, said Gartner. 

To begin, they must establish artificial intelligence principles that align with the company’s value, setting standards for how machines and humans will interact. Additionally, the data infrastructure must be secure, enriched, fair, and accurate. Lastly, CIOs need to protect against the “dark side” of AI — for every opportunity, there’s a nefarious use case or a vulnerability — and that means bolstering cyber security. 

“The era of AI-powered business will lead to unintended consequences without advance planning. CIOs need a way to light the way forward, even when everything seems new or murky,” said Mesaglio. “To safely harness this disruption, CIOs must work with executive leaders to define their ambitions for using everyday AI and game-changing AI, and to establish AI-ready principles, data and security.”

[Also read: HanesBrands Leveraging Gen AI in Supply Chain Optimization Efforts]

There’s still much work to be done. Gartner found that just 9% of organizations have an AI vision statement in place, with one-third of 606 CIO respondents saying they didn’t currently have a plan to create one.

“A technology decision is not just a technology decision anymore. It is a technology, economic, social, and ethical decision all at once,” said Mesaglio. “To navigate decisions about AI in their organization, CIOs and IT leaders need lighthouse principles — a vision for AI that lights the way and says what kind of human-machine relationships they will and will not accept.”

This article first appeared on the site of sister publication, CGT.

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