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New Deloitte survey finds expectations for Gen AI remain high, but many are feeling pressure to quickly realise value while managing risks

 Three-quarters of respondents expect Generative AI (Gen AI) to transform their organisations within three years

 Only a quarter of leaders believe their organisations are “highly” or “very highly” prepared to address governance and risk issues related to Gen AI adoption

Only 47% agree that their organisations are sufficiently educating employees on the capabilities, benefits and value of Gen AI

More than half are concerned that the widespread use of Gen AI will increase economic inequality (51%)

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND, 15 JANUARY 2024 - Building on its annual State of AI in the Enterprise report, today the Deloitte AI InstituteTM is unveiling at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, the first wave of a quarterly survey, which explores how actions taken now will guide how Gen AI adoption unfolds and if its benefits are fully realised. The State of Generative AI in the Enterprise: Now decides next is based on a survey of more than 2,800 Director to C-suite level respondents across six industries and 16 countries. While respondents have a range of self-reported levels of Gen AI expertise, all are experienced with AI and are piloting or implementing Gen AI in their organisations.

“We’re in the early days of a major technological transformation with Gen AI beginning to drive a wave of innovation across industries,” says Joe Ucuzoglu, Deloitte Global CEO. “The speed, scale and use cases of Gen AI are breathtaking. Business leaders are under an immense amount of pressure to act, while ensuring appropriate governance and risk mitigation guardrails are in place.”

How early Gen AI experts are driving value

Three-quarters (79%) of respondents expect Gen AI to drive substantial organisational transformation in less than three years. Yet, at the moment, the majority report a strong focus on more tactical benefits, like improving efficiency and cost reduction, rather than things like growth and improving innovation. Like with many new technologies, improving efficiency and productivity was the leading benefit organisations said they were seeking (56%). Areas considered more strategic, like encouraging innovation (29%) and uncovering new ideas and insights (19%) are currently a lower priority.

More than four in 10 (44%) respondents believe they have “high” or “very high” expertise in Gen AI. Among this group, the 9% who report “very high” expertise levels (referred to as early Gen AI experts) reveal how leaders are thinking about and treating Gen AI differently. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of these early Gen AI experts say they are already integrating Gen AI into their product development and research and development, suggesting that they are beginning to use Gen AI for innovation and growth-related purposes. They are also more likely to use Gen AI at a higher rate across business functions.

The early Gen AI experts feel more trust and less uncertainty about the technology and appear to be the most prepared for the changes Gen AI will bring—but they also see greater potential for disruption. For example, compared to respondents with “some level of expertise,” early Gen AI experts are twice as likely to feel that their business or operating model is threatened by the widespread adoption of Gen AI.

Managing talent, governance and risk are top challenges with Gen AI adoption

Respondents report feeling generally prepared when it comes to strategy and technology infrastructure, but they have lower confidence related to talent, governance and risk, which are seen as significant barriers to AI adoption.

In fact, respondents cite lack of technical talent and skills as the single biggest barrier to Gen AI adoption. Only 22% of respondents believe their organisations are “highly” or “very highly” prepared to address talent-related issues related to Gen AI adoption. And many are not yet focused on education and reskilling—only 47% of organisations agree that they are sufficiently educating their employees on the capabilities, benefits and value of Gen AI. The early Gen AI experts, however, are much more likely to focus on educating and reskilling their workforce and to focus on recruiting and hiring technical talent to drive Gen AI initiatives. For example, 74% of respondents with “very high” Gen AI expertise say they are educating their workforce versus 27% of respondents with “some” expertise.

Similarly, governance and risk are barriers to Gen AI adoption. Only a quarter (25%) of leaders believe their organisations are “highly” or “very highly” prepared to address governance and risk issues related to Gen AI adoption. Respondents’ biggest concerns related to governance are: lack of confidence in results (36%); intellectual property concerns (35%); misuse of client or customer data (34%); ability to comply with regulations (33%); and lack of explainability/ transparency (31%).

Leaders worry that Gen AI will drive greater economic inequality

Although the leaders surveyed are generally excited and enthusiastic about Gen AI’s potential business benefits, they are less optimistic about its broader societal impacts. More than half of respondents expect widespread use of Gen AI to centralise power in the global economy (52%) and increase economic inequality (51%). Additionally, 49% of respondents believe the rise of Gen AI tools/applications will erode the overall level of trust in national and global institutions.

To help address these concerns, the majority of respondents agree there is a need for more global regulation (78%) and collaboration (72%) to manage the responsible widespread adoption of Gen AI.

"Today, Gen AI is at an inflection point where organisations are just beginning to recognise its potential but are yet to see it as a growth catalyst for business. Organisations need to consider Gen AI in conjunction with other AI and technology tools to drive business growth," says Deborshi Dutt, Artificial Intelligence Strategic Growth Offering lead and principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP. "To help accelerate their path to Gen AI value, organisations should start to reimagine and reinvent how they conduct business to stay ahead in this transformative landscape, while managing risks appropriately. This will require increased collaboration across organisations to foster trust in the responsible and widespread adoption of Gen AI and a strong focus on education and reskilling people for how this technology is expected to alter how we each work, learn and collaborate."

To read the full report please visit:

About the State of Generative AI in the Enterprise

This is the first of a series of quarterly surveys intended to track the integration of Gen AI in the enterprise. This research builds from Deloitte’s previous State of AI in the Enterprise report which has been running for six years now. This wave of the survey, conducted between October 2023 and December 2023, connected with more than 2,800 AI-savvy business and technology leaders directly involved in piloting or implementing Gen AI at major organisations across 16 countries and six industries including Consumer, Energy, Resources & Industrials, Financial Services, Life Sciences & Healthcare, Technology, Media & Telecomm and Government & Public Services.

The next wave of this survey will continue to track the integration of Gen AI in the enterprise and will include a deeper focus on innovation, enterprise transformation and trust.