Cutting through the noise: A strategic approach to generative AI

With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) technology and the emergence of generative AI as a hot topic, everyone is asking: What do we do with generative AI in the workplace? Today, meaningful information is targeted, tailored to the human mind and highly accessible. So much so, that for the first time in years, CEOs and the C-suite are keen to see their organization’s data moved to the cloud so they can take advantage of the capabilities of generative AI.

But when it comes to deciding where to dedicate valuable time and resources, it’s essential to make sure the right framework is in place to guide the conversations and strategy. How do leaders cut through the noise and build a strategic plan to use generative AI to drive and differentiate their business?

Here we explore what’s happening in the market and some key considerations for those who are ready to start assessing generative AI opportunities, starting with value, availability of data and future-readiness.

Assess the value of use cases

In some ways, it really is simple: it all starts with determining where you can get the most value for your investment. Leaders are already being presented use cases by all areas of the business. Since it’s very likely that most (if not all) of these use cases are compelling, leaders need a strategic and systematic way to decide which to move ahead with that takes into account impacts to their bottom line.

Decision-makers in the C-suite need to understand the value proposition of every use case presented to them. Some of these use cases will be strategic and focused on changing the business and/or growing revenue, some will provide opportunities for cost savings, and some will offer a combination of the two.

Understand the availability of your organization’s data

Once leaders have a view into the value of the use cases they’re seeing, they need to understand the availability of their data to support those processes. Have you moved some, all or none of your data to the cloud? If necessary, what would it take to move your data to activate the use cases you’ve prioritized? What are the cost considerations? How would you operationalize the move? Do you already have some data in the cloud you can use to advance your agenda?

If you’re feeling uncertain about the technology, a great first step could be to try it out. The flexibility of the technology allows users to create secure landing zones to play with data in the cloud, build a sandbox environment and develop proof of concepts to test ideas and engage your business. This allows everyone to take a look at the value offered and assess the extent to which it complements or amplifies business objectives.

Make sure you factor the intrinsic value of data into your organization’s plans. As you use generative AI and start to build datasets, your data will quickly become a significant asset. This asset is something that can then be capitalized to fund major strategic initiatives.

Build the future into today’s plans

We know from our latest Annual Global CEO Survey that leaders are struggling to balance short-term pressures with the need to reinvent their business to succeed in a changing world. We see the same forces at play when it comes to generative AI. Leaders need to balance demands for speed to market with an understanding of the trajectory their industry is on to make sure they prioritize use cases that will enable them to stay competitive in the future.

A critical consideration to long-term viability of use cases will be ethical and responsible use of generative AI. There’s still very little formal policy mandating ethics, and consumers aren’t yet demanding certain behaviours. However, as generative AI becomes more mainstream, we know this will change—and quickly. Lean on responsible AI frameworks and factor what can be predicted about the regulatory environment into any investments now to make them as future-proof as possible.

Let’s continue the conversation

With a technology shift of this scale, it won’t be possible, or even desirable, for leaders to understand it all before they get started. What’s crucial is making sure the right conversations are happening around strategic prioritization: What do I do first? How do I choose among all the AI use cases coming to me? What do I need to successfully leverage this technology for my people, processes and technology stack today?

We’re excited about the possibilities inherent in generative AI, and we’re ready to explore together what this could mean for your business. 
Reach out today to learn more.

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Michelle Bourgeois

Michelle Bourgeois

National Alliances Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 687 9258