GenAI overtakes Cloud as top IT business priority

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Generative AI has overtaken cloud as a global enterprise IT priority according to new research from IT analyst firm Enterprise Strategy Group.

The report, titled Beyond the GenAI hype: real-world investments, use cases and concerns, surveyed 670 IT and business decision makers across EMEA, North America, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and uncovered that 42 per cent of businesses are already utilising GenAI and 43 per cent have plans to implement it.

It was ultimately revealed that Gen AI (9 per cent) was voted the top strategic IT initiative, marginally ahead of cloud (8 per cent) and sustainability (7 per cent).

Josh Boer, Director at Tech Consultancy VeUP, commented: “It’s no surprise to see the GenAI boom sweeping over businesses across the globe but that cannot take the focus away from other critical areas of enterprise IT infrastructure. Given the recent economic turbulence, it’s critical that businesses take a long-term view with their technology investment, prioritising cloud infrastructure that can support rapid scaling while reducing costs for bloated businesses.”

“Cloud can play a major role in core initiatives such as digital transformation and developing a more efficient procurement process which can help drive business growth.  While GenAI will continue to rise in popularity, as seen with Amazon’s recent efforts surrounding Bedrock, businesses, and particularly fast-growing start-ups and SMEs, must prioritise investment in the technology infrastructure that best enables them to scale.”

GenAI was cited as an important part of digital transformation programmes, with businesses looking to utilise GenAI for improving workflow automation, data analytics and employee productivity.

Mike Leone, Principal Analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said: “Generative AI has moved passed the hype stage and organisations are rapidly adopting this game-changing tech. They’re seeing tangible business benefits from improving operational efficiency and automating processes to increasing employee productivity and enhancing the customer experience.”

“But the challenges loom large as organisations grapple with skills gaps, data issues, infrastructure complexities and security and privacy concerns. And that’s before considering cost implications. Virtually every organisation needs help somewhere along this new journey, whether establishing use cases with measurable success metrics, identifying technology providers and partners, scaling usage throughout an organisation, or reducing risk and ensuring trust through a responsible AI framework.”