The rapid adoption of generative AI (GenAI) will significantly democratize knowledge and skills in the enterprise, empowering employees with knowledge and skills to achieve their potential. IT leaders must harness its value to increase productivity, cut costs and create growth opportunities, while also mitigating its significant risks.
GenAI itself is becoming democratized by the confluence of cloud computing and open source, making these models accessible to workers worldwide. Democratizing GenAI reinvents the way work is done by improving existing processes. GenAI will level the playing field in terms of access to information and skills across a broad set of roles and business functions, making it one of the most disruptive trends of this decade.
GenAI adoption will significantly increase organizational productivity
GenAI will revolutionize the way businesses operate, ushering in a new era of productivity, efficiency and innovation. It will have a range of uses, from automating routine tasks to generating creative solutions for complex problems.
Large language models (LLMs) will enable enterprises to connect their workers with knowledge in a conversational style with rich semantic understanding. Employees with access will benefit from this vast amount of knowledge, both internally and externally.
GenAI models, tools and applications have become available as application programming interfaces (APIs) in the public cloud, which has made it easier for developers to build applications without building or operating their own models. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2026, more than 80 per cent of enterprises will have used generative AI APIs and models and/or deployed GenAI-enabled applications in production environments, up from less than five per cent in 2023.
Open-source models give enterprises more flexible deployment options, better control over security and privacy, and more customization opportunities for steering these models to align with their use cases.
Democratized GenAI will improve organizational tasks
The democratization of GenAI opens up immense opportunities such as improved efficiency and increased business productivity. GenAI applications will accelerate manual or repetitive tasks, such as writing emails, coding, or summarizing large documents. They will also enable more efficient ways of achieving high-value tasks, making it easier for employees to get proficient with new tasks through personalized AI assistants.
Additionally, GenAI can democratize access to information – making it easy to find, enabling contextual search, and transforming information retrieval to be conversational. Democratized GenAI can create new, unique outputs across a range of modalities. Machine creativity is in the early stages and can be harnessed in many ways to speed the development of new products and build differentiation.
IT leaders must mitigate the risks posed by democratized GenAI
IT leaders should create a prioritized matrix of GenAI use cases and outline a timeframe for piloting, deployment and production across these use cases. They should employ a change management approach that prioritizes employee training and well-being, so they are able to use GenAI tools safely and confidently while automating routine tasks. They should implement governance to enable democratization in a responsible way — ensure content accuracy, authenticity and guardrails to prevent unforeseen consequences of the GenAI applications while keeping executives informed.
The immense potential and viral adoption of GenAI applications has catapulted GenAI to become a top priority for IT leaders. Enterprises’ enthusiasm stems from the uniqueness of GenAI as a technology trend that can massively improve organizational efficiency while also offering huge potential for revenue growth.
Arun Chandrasekaran is a Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, where he researches emerging technologies and trends, with an emphasis on artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Gartner analysts will provide additional analysis on emerging technologies such as GenAI, at Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, taking place March 11-13, in Orlando, FL.