Generative AI: The Next Pivotal Point for Productivity and Efficiency

October, 2023


The Information Age has witnessed the evolution of waves of process automation, from rule-based systems, such as business process management and robotic process automation, to AI, which offers cognitive capabilities for complex tasks. Previous automation technologies streamlined repetitive tasks but struggled with complex, unstructured data. AI has bridged that gap, resulting in substantial productivity gains across various business processes. However, as we approach a saturation point in productivity enhancement, generative AI emerges as the next frontier with the ability to automate tasks previously deemed not automatable, such as content creation, summarization, contextual search, and sentiment analysis.

Due to prevailing data security and privacy concerns, enterprises increasingly harness generative AI, primarily for backend operations, to safeguard client data. They are initiating experiments with backend processes as a cautious first step, with plans to expand into frontend operations. Media and entertainment, healthcare and life sciences, and financial services are the top three industries at the forefront of generative AI adoption in backend operations. Numerous tech giants, such as Google, Meta, and Microsoft, are making substantial investments in developing and training large language models (LLMs), amounting to billions of dollars. In alignment with this, many service providers have also announced significant AI investment initiatives over the next three years. Despite the enthusiasm, the transition of projects to the production stage is slow. About 50% of enterprises are currently in the exploratory phase and trying to understand the potential benefits of generative AI while carefully evaluating copyright, privacy, and data security concerns. This phase also involves brainstorming and conceptualizing how generative AI might fit into their operations. The landscape of generative AI adoption is dynamic, where enterprises align their strategies with their specific business requirements, priorities, and readiness to embrace this transformative technology. Several impediments obstruct the transition, including data security, the high cost and time in choosing the right LLM, inadequate data infrastructure, uncertain ROI, and a lack of skilled professionals in generative AI.

Service providers are pivotal in helping enterprises integrate generative AI in a manner that is tailored to their specific applications and aligned with their risk tolerance, offering an alternative to deploying standard LLMs, such as ChatGPT. They extend a wide array of services, such as consultation and implementation of LLMs, solution accelerators, and vector databases, along with providing model fine-tuning and security and compliance toolkits. By incorporating generative AI into existing services, primarily coding and knowledge management, and offering dedicated training workshops and assessment frameworks for ROI and build-versus-buy decisions, service providers are facilitating a smoother and more informed transition for enterprises looking to integrate generative AI into their operations. As generative AI moves toward mainstream adoption, service providers with strengths in domain knowledge, data management, and responsible AI will stand out.