Published on October 26, 2023, 2:55 pm
Navigating the Generative AI (GenAI) revolution is a task that requires IT’s active involvement in driving innovation and security. The impact of cloud technology on the IT landscape serves as a valuable lesson in this regard. While some embraced it, others viewed it as a wake-up call. Developers realized they could bypass traditional procurement cycles and gain access to cloud resources with just a credit card swipe.
Similar to the cloud transformation, the rise of generative AI has been rapid and transformative. It holds immense potential for organizations across all levels. Knowledge workers can now utilize powerful content creation engines, while users can tap into unprecedented productivity workflows. Low- and no-code solutions have become more accessible than ever before, enabling employees who once required specialized skills in data science or coding to embrace this technology.
However, as organizations explore the possibilities of generative AI, they face the challenge of how to effectively govern and secure it. With management responsibilities extending beyond developers to every individual within an organization, ensuring proper controls becomes paramount.
Some organizations have hesitated to fully adopt GenAI until they can develop robust security and governance measures. While understandable, this approach limits their ability to leverage these technologies during this critical period of development and innovation. It is important to acknowledge that while these organizations deliberate, their competitors may already be embracing GenAI.
The good news is that there are lessons to be learned from the rise of cloud computing that can guide organizations in their approach to GenAI. One key lesson is that IT should take charge and lead the conversation surrounding generative AI. By doing so, IT shifts from being perceived as a cost center to becoming a driver of innovation within the company.
There are several reasons why IT should assume leadership in this area. Ad-hoc usage of GenAI in organizations is on the rise, with 56% of workers admitting to using it on the job while only 26% reported having an official GenAI policy in place. This trend highlights the need for IT to address the potential risks associated with shadow AI.
IT organizations should view GenAI usage as an approaching tidal wave. While they may currently manage it, as usage becomes more commonplace, the stakes will become higher. Therefore, IT leaders must make a conscious choice to ride the wave rather than be crushed by it.
To effectively navigate this new territory, IT leaders can take several proactive steps. First and foremost, they should strive to become the most knowledgeable individuals in the room when it comes to generative AI. This includes understanding not only the infrastructure aspects but also hands-on experience with utilizing these technologies.
Establishing a plan to protect an organization’s intellectual property (IP) and data is crucial without hindering access to generative AI. Many organizations are pursuing hybrid or on-premises approaches (82% according to a recent Dell survey) that combine technology use with standardized processes on the backend. Such an approach ensures data security while capitalizing on benefits like cost control and energy optimization.
Collaboration between IT and business counterparts is essential to identify the range of use cases across the organization. By prioritizing these use cases and aligning on high-value ones that offer quick wins, organizations can ensure effective deployment.
Contrary to common misconceptions, adopting GenAI does not have to mean going through months-long procurement cycles or substantial deployments. Depending on identified use cases and data size, proof-of-concept projects can be initiated using existing hardware and open-source models.
Another crucial aspect of this journey is training and education. Properly equipping users with knowledge about Generative AI’s intricacies is both a challenge and an opportunity that impacts all levels of an organization. In this regard, IT plays a pivotal role in educating employees about how best to harness GenAI for company-wide innovation.
As technological disruption affects businesses at all levels, IT finds itself in a central position due to its management and oversight of critical infrastructure. Some organizations have already embraced GenAI, with 20% of IT organizations reported to be well-established in deploying GenAI solutions and promoting user adoption.
Regardless of an organization’s stage in the GenAI journey, following the steps outlined above can help drive successful integration. Seeking partnerships with experienced providers can also expedite progress by leveraging their expertise in identifying use cases, implementing solutions, encouraging adoption, and facilitating internal training programs.
To explore further insights into Generative AI technology and its implications for businesses, visit dell.com/ai.