Generative AI’s enterprise gamble: IT leaders bet big on tech despite security woes


Enterprise IT teams are moving swiftly to adopt generative artificial intelligence systems like ChatGPT, according to a new report from Glean and ISG.

The report found that IT leaders see generative AI as transformational and are willing to increase budgets and take on risks to implement the technology across their organizations. 

The report surveyed 224 IT executives at large U.S. and European companies. It found that budgets for generative AI projects are expected to nearly triple between 2023 and 2025, rising from an average of 1.5% of IT budgets today to 4.3% in two years.

Larger companies plan to allocate even more, with 26% of firms over $5 billion in revenue budgeting more than 10% toward generative AI by 2025.

“Today’s IT leaders have lived through multiple hype cycles heralding new technologies as transformative, and this study demonstrates that these leaders see something different in generative AI,” CEO of Glean, Arvind Jain, said in a statement. “Companies are moving with unprecedented speed to invest in and deploy generative AI.”

Rapid adoption despite potential risks

The report suggests that IT leaders are betting big on generative AI with the anticipation of a substantial payoff: a projected 7% increase in global GDP over 10 years and a 40% rise in worker productivity.

Despite the optimism, the report also sheds light on the growing threat of shadow IT, where employees use unvetted generative AI tools, posing significant security risks.

Objectives
Credit: Glean

A staggering 73% of respondents view these unauthorized tools as a business threat, yet 57% acknowledge their prevalence within their organizations.

Perhaps most surprisingly, 34% of survey respondents said they are willing to implement generative AI quickly even if negative consequences could occur. Only 8% said their biggest concern was the technology changing too fast. 

Just 28% of respondents reported definitively achieving positive ROI from current generative AI projects. Another 31% believe they are seeing returns but lack hard data. Still, early pilots have yielded promising results, with 46% seeing better-than-expected outcomes.

Uncertainty around returns and metrics

While productivity gains were cited as the top way to measure ROI, few respondents have systematic methods to quantify benefits. As investment ramps up, developing better evaluation practices may be needed.

Capability importance
Credit: Glean

The findings suggest generative AI could fundamentally reshape how enterprise technology works. However, the accelerated pace of deployment is testing IT teams accustomed to more cautious adoption curves. Striking the right balance between innovation gains and risk management will be key in this unfolding AI revolution.

To see the full report click here, or check out Glean CEO Arvind Jain’s blog post breaking down the survey results.

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