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Generative AI

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Generative AI remains a high priority for CEOs, and according to our latest Fortune/Deloitte CEO Survey, 79% of CEOs surveyed say that accelerating innovation is one of the top use cases for implementing Generative AI.

Deloitte aims to help CEOs see ahead into the future to imagine and pursue a Gen AI vision that maximises value for their organisations.

The success of a company’s Generative AI adoption often rests on how well the CEO sets the tone and casts the vision for the enterprise.


Over the past year, awareness of Generative AI’s seemingly boundless possibilities has continued to expand. This exponential growth has instilled a growing belief among businesses and CEOs that Generative AI has the potential to significantly augment, if not substitute, even the most intricate and unstructured avenues of value creation.

But the reality of the past year is stark: There has been a lot of activity and interest, and plenty of proofs of concept and demos, and yet, a disjointed approach has prevented most companies from fully harnessing the potential of Generative AI. Moreover, the hard investment trade-offs that CEOs have had to face have limited their ability to develop critical capabilities, including foundational technology and workforce investments. The Generative AI shift requires business leaders—most acutely, CEOs—to alter how they lead the enterprise.

Deloitte analysis has shown that successful digital transformation can result in up to $1.25 trillion (USD) in additional market cap, and Generative AI is proving to be a powerful accelerant for transformation. Over the next decade, productivity gains and capabilities enabled by AI are expected to increase global GDP by $7 trillion, while the Generative AI market doubles every other year.

CEOs can capture this value by setting the right vision, drawing their perspective from both a strategic understanding of the technology and its potential to drive value and marketplace advantage. Generative AI is much more than the evolution of a chatbot—it can be the compressed digital representation of the entire enterprise, capturing knowledge and communicating it through natural language (as opposed to programming languages). To truly capture its actual value, CEOs have an opportunity to envision how to align Generative AI to their overall business strategy, not merely in completing tasks but in reshaping the fundamental business framework.

We call this vision of the future the autonomous enterprise: a future-state organisation that capitalises on the unique advantages of pairing humans with AI to help people become far more effective and the work more fulfilling as digital agents complement and support them.
Previously, value creation through automation was limited by the inability to process large amounts of unstructured data, which restricted it to tasks requiring low creative difficulty, low context variability, and high accuracy. That’s no longer the case with Generative AI.

As we know from studying the progression of information technology over time, cognitive automation systems are only going to become more intelligent. Generative AI capabilities could enable the use of digital bots or agents that operate throughout an enterprise in a supportive role. Such bots could be given goals instead of specific commands and could develop plans, execute tasks, and even assign other digital agents tasks.

Imagine a planning meeting in an autonomous enterprise. Digital agents are tasked with synthesising the company’s prior fiscal year sales and creating a forecast based on current and expected market conditions. The CEO and the executive team interrogate the enterprise AI model about its forecasting methods and assumptions, which are communicated with clear rationales. In the autonomous enterprise of the future, the blueprints of the organisation, its complex ways of working, and years of institutional knowledge are at our fingertips, accessible through sophisticated AI models.
Creating this level of value through Generative AI requires CEOs to reimagine ways of working and the role of human contributions to the workplace. Articulating a compelling vision of humans with AI (the human + AI advantage) can help a CEO outpace the competition.

First and foremost, the CEO should be specific about how Generative AI can increase human employees’ skills, efficiency, and productivity, thanks to new interfaces that ease human interaction and allow for engagement through natural language.

Second, CEOs should recognise that an autonomous enterprise frees humans to focus on problems requiring a human touch. In fact, organisations competing in a marketplace where every company has access to the same Generative AI tools will likely need to rely on enduring human capabilities, such as curiosity, empathy, and creativity to create differentiation; and it will be the role of its leaders to find that “differentiation” by designing unique ways for humans and AI to interact.

To better capture value and realise the full potential of the autonomous enterprise, CEOs play a vital role in three significant areas: setting the vision, communicating it, and making the right investments to accelerate the journey toward that future.
CEOs’ most unique role is to develop and articulate a clear vision—an opportunity for a radically enhanced, augmented, and eventually automated business model that can bring value to employees, customers, and other stakeholders. But, a Generative AI-fuelled enterprise will look different for each organisation, and CEOs must determine the salience, as the application, speed, pace of change, and potential for advantage will vary by business.

CEOs may be inclined to take a technology and apply it directly to their business model, but Generative AI could provide CEOs the opportunity to fully reshape and redefine their business models, thinking beyond discrete use cases, pilots, and projects to scale AI in order to realise its full value.

Deloitte research shows that AI starts out in a trust deficit. When customers know a brand is using AI, their trust in the brand declines by a factor of 12. For CEOs at AI-fuelled organisations, trust is imperative to building a narrative that inspires confidence in employees and customers alike.

Powerful narratives rooted in trust start with envisioning a positive future where AI enables and complements the human experience and the values of the people it serves—from how humans create, connect, and make decisions to how they consume, learn, and grow. Leaders must emphasise how their employees and customers can flourish with machines, rather than work against them.

The CEO's path to enterprise adoption should give teams confidence as well as resources and freedom to experiment, with commitments to hard investments. The journey to a Generative AI-fuelled enterprise means building a foundation in digital and AI capabilities, such as technology infrastructure, for the flexibility and computing power needed to properly empower AI; data management, for feeding the organisation's digital blueprint into AI models; and change management through upskilling, cultural changes, and restructuring as needed to adapt to new ways of working. That's not to mention tackling concerns around privacy, security, trust, explainability, and regulation.

It's not too late for CEOs to act—yet—on a bold vision to drive value and competitive advantage through a Generative AI-fuelled organisation.

Use cases - Capturing the potential of Generative AI


Far more than a sophisticated chatbot, Generative AI has the potential to unleash innovation, permit new ways of working, amplify other AI systems and technologies, and transform enterprises across every sector.

Explore this collection of use cases to recognise how Generative AI can address enterprise challenges in new ways, permit more and greater capabilities across business functions, and deliver advantages in efficiency, speed, scale, and capacity.

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