Navigating the Future: How Generative AI is Impacting IT Leaders & Organizations
CEO / Co-Founder at JetRockets
Business Development Manager at JetRockets
Generative AI has been commanding an incredible amount of buzz since ChatGPT took the world by storm. But the truth is, the technology has been making waves in the business world for some time now. As organizations strive to stay ahead of the curve, we are witnessing a surge in the adoption of generative AI across various sectors. From personalized marketing campaigns to automated chatbots, generative AI is empowering businesses to streamline operations and enhance the user experience.
But it’s also a polarizing topic, especially amongst those in the tech industry, with some hailing it as a revolutionary tool for creativity and innovation, while others warn of its potential dangers and ethical concerns.
To gain deeper insights into this trend and how it will ultimately impact the future of IT, the team at JetRockets conducted a survey of 400 CIOs & CTOs. The following is a look at some of the study’s takeaways, including how IT leaders are currently deploying generative AI, how it is changing the makeup of their teams, and what their views are on how generative AI will impact their roles and the roles of their team as the technology continues to advance. Here’s what we found:
IT Leaders Shine a Spotlight on Generative AI’s Biggest Challenges
The impact that generative AI is already having on IT teams is nothing short of transformative. In fact, 90% of IT leaders say their organization has already integrated generative AI into its processes, while an overwhelming 99% say they are planning to ramp up their investments in the technology over the next 3-6 months!
From cybersecurity and threat detection (81%) to predictive maintenance and equipment monitoring (69%), generative AI is being integrated into an increasing number of business processes. Additionally, organizations are utilizing generative AI for software development/product development (68%), natural language processing and chatbots (59%), and data analysis and visualization (55%).
However, with this massive wave of adoption comes some challenges, too. And the biggest one, according to 88% of respondents, is overcoming a lack of expertise in generative AI as they scale their investments in the technology. The fact that this is IT leaders’ most significant hurdle isn’t all that surprising. Even companies like Goldman Sachs, with more resources than most, cited this as a concern as they look to roll out their solutions. Of course, the AI industry in general is home to an abundance of talent. But when it comes to hiring people with a deep understanding of large language models (LLMs) or the types of neural networks generative AI uses, the talent pool becomes significantly smaller. Businesses are therefore finding it incredibly difficult to establish a dedicated generative AI team.
Meanwhile, other challenges our CIO & CTO respondents spotlighted include limited resources to train models (32%), integration with legacy systems (28%), and data privacy and security concerns (23%).
Generative AI isn’t Stealing Jobs – But it is Changing The DNA of IT Teams
Nevertheless, our survey highlights that generative AI is already transforming the composition of IT teams. In their attempts to overcome a lack of expertise, for example, a remarkable 92% of IT leaders say they have upskilled existing IT staff to work with generative AI technologies, paving the way for a more skilled and adaptable workforce. Only 8% of respondents reported job cuts where generative AI had taken over job roles – potentially a sign that the public need not worry about the technology taking jobs from human workers.
At the same time, though, this highlights that as the adoption of generative AI continues to accelerate, organizations must invest in training their workforce to stay competitive and prepare for the future.
As for IT leaders themselves, over 50% of respondents believe that generative AI will increase the strategic importance of IT leaders in the future. As generative AI becomes more prevalent, organizations will require IT leaders who are not only technically savvy, but also possess the skills to integrate AI solutions into business strategies. With AI taking over routine and mundane tasks, IT leaders will be freed up to focus on more complex and strategic initiatives. The role of IT leaders will transform from a cost center to a value driver, helping organizations to innovate and achieve their business goals.
The majority of respondents, 96%, do not see generative AI as a threat to their organization's overall success. This is a testament to the growing trust in the technology and the benefits it can bring to organizations. However, IT leaders must remain vigilant to ensure that they are implementing the technology ethically and responsibly to avoid any negative impact on the business. We’ll have more on that later. But first, let’s take a look at how generative AI is changing the game of software development.
Impact of Generative AI on Software Development
The impact of generative AI on software development is a topic that has been generating a lot of buzz lately. From KPMG describing the technology as a “dramatic leap with big implications for developers”, to AWS labeling it a “paradigm shift” in development work, it seems every organization is preparing for a future fueled by generative AI. But how exactly will it influence the software development space?
According to our survey, respondents believe that generative AI is likely to have the most impact on testing and debugging (31%), as well as code generation and optimization (26%). These are areas where generative AI can help streamline processes, improve efficiency and ultimately lead to better outcomes. In contrast, only 3% of respondents believe that generative AI will impact project management and planning.
While the majority of respondents reported having team members with some level of expertise in generative AI (78%), only 8% said they had a dedicated generative AI team. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that the biggest challenge associated with integrating generative AI into the software development process is, again, a lack of expertise and understanding of generative AI technology. This was ranked as number one by 86% of respondents. Indeed, this is consistent with broader trends in the technology industry, where there is a growing demand for AI and machine learning experts. Companies that invest in training and development in this area will be better positioned to leverage generative AI in the future.
Meanwhile, when it comes to how generative AI will impact job roles and responsibilities in software development, the majority of respondents believe there will be some change (77%), while a smaller percentage (23%) believe there will be significant change. However, the overwhelming majority (88%) believe that generative AI cannot fully replace human software developers, highlighting the importance of the human touch in software development. Rather, they believe it will strengthen their capabilities and increase the quality of their work.
Despite the challenges and potential impact on job roles, respondents to our survey said that they believe that integrating generative AI into the software development process will significantly shorten timelines and improve the quality of the final product (46%). This aligns with broader trends in the technology industry, where AI and machine learning are increasingly being used to automate and streamline processes. It also backs up what the developers of several generative AI technologies, and particularly those making coding tools like GitHub, have been touting as they attempt to dispel many myths surrounding their innovations. At their best, they say, these technologies will help developers improve productivity, much in the way that tools like spell check and auto-completion of phrases help people write documents. So instead of replacing human workers, they’ll essentially work as a second set of eyes.
Overall, the impact of generative AI on software development is a topic that is likely to continue to generate interest and investment in the coming years. As companies invest in training and development, we can expect to see more widespread adoption of generative AI in software development workflows, leading to greater efficiency, improved outcomes, and ultimately, better products for consumers.
Addressing Common Ethical Concerns
Even with an understanding of Generative AI’s potential to revolutionize IT-related areas, ethical concerns cannot be ignored. While most respondents to our study were not very concerned about the ethical implications of generative AI, a third of IT leaders (33%) are at least somewhat concerned. In fact, 28% of IT leaders believe generative AI development should be paused and regulated, with an additional 23% saying it should at least be regulated. This highlights the importance of taking a proactive approach to ethical considerations in the development and deployment of generative AI solutions.
“Ensuring fairness and avoiding bias” is the most important ethical consideration, according to survey respondents. This, of course, makes sense. Discrimination and bias in AI systems must be avoided to ensure they are used for the benefit of society. Meanwhile, “Protecting privacy and data security” ranked second, highlighting the need to address concerns related to the collection, storage, and use of sensitive data when implementing generative AI solutions. “Promoting transparency and accountability in decision making” came in as the third most important ethical consideration, emphasizing the importance of ensuring that AI systems are transparent in their decision-making processes and accountable for their actions.
Interestingly, “promoting worker displacement/replacement” was ranked last in terms of ethical considerations. IT professionals are more concerned with the ethical implications of generative AI on society as a whole rather than its impact on their own jobs.
These concerns are making their way around the boardroom as well. More than a third (37%) of respondents stated that their C-Suite expressed concerns about the ethical implications of generative AI, suggesting that C-Suite executives are beginning to understand the ethical implications of this type of technology and the need to prioritize ethical considerations in their organization's AI strategy.
Generative AI is already reshaping the IT and software development space, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. As our study shows, organizations are already leveraging generative AI’s expansive potential to optimize workflows, streamline processes, and improve user experiences. But contrary to some concerns, the technology is not – and doesn’t seem poised to – replace human workers entirely.
This is, of course, reassuring for those in the tech industry that worried about the security of their jobs. But we can’t gloss over the ethical implications of such rapid advancements. Indeed, as IT leaders scale their investments in generative AI, they need to be conscious of the technology’s drawbacks and aim to use it in a way that advances the IT industry rather than detracts from it. It’s only when they do this that we will maximize the power of generative AI to support IT and software development, improve efficiency, and build more advanced software solutions.