CEOs and CIOs Face Gap in Expectations Over Generative AI

As the potential value of generative artificial intelligence (AI) generates high expectations for businesses, a significant gap is emerging between CEOs and their C-suite tech leaders, particularly Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Chief Technology Officers (CTOs). While CEOs focus on growth—increasing revenue, market share, and customer base—CIOs and CTOs remain concentrated on efficiencies, including infrastructure, application modernization, and basic automation.

Surveys consistently reveal divergent views within the C-suite, with business stakeholders often holding unrealistic expectations about the speed and agility of new technology implementation, according to a Salesforce survey of 600 IT professionals. Meanwhile, CEOs express ambivalence or dissatisfaction with their organizations’ progress on AI and generative AI, as highlighted in a recent survey by BCG.

The discrepancy arises as CEOs anticipate generative AI’s potential to enhance product quality, intensify competition, and bring significant organizational change. However, the existing burden of technical debt—issues related to outdated technology—hampers modernization efforts, diverting a substantial portion of technology budgets to address these challenges.

Tech debt, which can account for up to 40% of IT balance sheets, poses a hurdle to technological innovation and growth initiatives. The problem was exacerbated during the pandemic when tech modernization efforts were deferred in favor of enabling remote work.

To address the challenge, CIOs must effectively communicate their vision, emphasizing that tech modernization contributes to both cost efficiencies and business growth. Breaking down the tech modernization story into manageable components helps demonstrate the dual impact on efficiency and growth.

Leaders in organizations like S&P Global and JLL emphasize the importance of strategic communication and the need to balance operational efficiencies with growth initiatives. S&P Global’s chief digital solutions officer likens tech transition to a Rubik’s Cube, requiring thoughtful decisions on where to transform tech and how to reinvest costs into the business.

JLL’s CTO emphasizes a bottom-up feedback loop, ensuring that generative AI solutions are built with end-users in mind. Soliciting ongoing feedback from end-users and incorporating it into the development process fosters adoption and enhances the fit of technology solutions.

In addition to addressing technological challenges, CIOs are steering mindset shifts within their teams. Encouraging technology teams to speak the language of various business departments and be actively involved in planning ensures better alignment between technology initiatives and business objectives.

As organizations navigate the expectations gap between CEOs and tech leaders, a collaborative approach that prioritizes both efficiency and growth is crucial for successful generative AI implementation and overall digital transformation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *