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Embracing Generative AI is the Future of Project Management

January 24, 2024

At its core, Generative AI is a technology about people; however, CEO’s are viewed as its sponsors who will rely on project managers to close the organisational gap between intent and action with the technology’s initiatives, said Cindy W. Anderson, Global Lead, Thought Leadership Engagement & Eminence at the IBM Institute for Business Value during her talk at Dubai International Project Management Forum (DIPMF).

“51% of organisations identify the CEO as the executive sponsor of their digital initiatives,” said Anderson during her session at DIPMF in Dubai.

According to the CEO’s Guide to Gen AI conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value, 72% of the executives said that they would “forgo” generative AI benefits due to ethical concerns.

The book explains how 12 different business topics, such as customer service, marketing, and security, are impacted by Gen AI.

“We looked at these topics in depth and the way Gen AI will affect [them] depends on where is the organisation within their journey,” explains Anderson.

Generative AI is seen as a tool that turns supply chains into value chains. Despite the projections surrounding the technology, 60% of the organisations that have been surveyed by the institute have not yet developed a consistent, enterprise-wide approach to generative AI.

Therefore, CEOs must find the “balance” between the value the technology creates against the investment it demands and the risks it introduces.

“Creativity is the number one skill that’s going to be the most valued as Gen AI takes over,” she added. “That was surprising finding, people need to be creative not only to implement Gen AI but also to do the work that Gen AI can’t do.”

When asked what happens if organisations do not implement generative AI, Anderson said that “Though we haven’t asked this question directly in our surveys, when I look at the data about process and productivity improvements, it is clear that organisations that don’t implement generative AI are at significant risk of losing (or failing to gain) competitive advantage.”

“If organisations using generative AI for early use cases like customer service or digital labour are already seeing productivity gains of 30-80%, then the organisations that don’t use it simply can’t compete,” Anderson added.

She explains that some of their clients are looking for “quick wins” in which they are studying the benefits in automation, customer service, and digital labour, among a few other things.

“Depending on the tools that they use and the operations that they are automating, they can see increase in productivity,” she adds. “That is a lot for an organisation that is looking to have a quick win.”

She explains further that in these cases, the organisation needs to go a step further, which is to investigate the core operating systems and understand how they can automate and improve, and use AI to help recast those models so they can get that long-term business advantage and competitive value out of that.

“The executives are telling us that they want the longer-term value so they are starting to look ahead,” she adds.

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