Maximising business value with Generative AI: A European perspective

91 percent of European companies are allocating a significant or sizeable percentage of their technology budget towards Generative AI initiatives.
Maximising business value with Generative AI: A European perspective

As companies strive to achieve the best possible business results, they try to use and effectively implement IT resources to support these goals. To do that, they have to transform their businesses which is challenging by itself. Implementation of integrated IT systems additionally contributes to these challenges. 

One solution that can help companies maximise business value while minimising negative IT impacts is the implementation of Generative AI initiatives.

A recent Accenture survey of over 2,300 global C-Suite executives reveals that the companies are aware of the importance of using Generative AI. The data show that European companies are leading in this transformation when it comes to the budget amount allocated towards Generative AI initiatives.

Just for comparison, 91 percent of European companies are allocating a significant or sizeable percentage of their technology budget towards Generative AI initiatives, compared to 87 percent of companies in North America.

Additionally, between 2016 and 2021, Generative AI patent filings in Europe increased by 53 percent, as companies are aware that AI innovations will boost growth.

By delivering IT alert information to the right company stakeholders in a language they can understand and with the relevant data, Generative AI helps close the communication gap. It can give individualized information, allowing stakeholders to fully understand how the problem would affect them individually.

And not just that. According to a report by McKinsey, generative AI has the potential to automate between 60 and 70 percent of the everyday work.

Aware of the benefits it will bring to their business, European companies are accelerating their investments in the technology. As highlighted in the analysis, 17 percent of European companies surveyed are currently ready to scale Generative AI and to take advantage of its benefits. In doing this, their biggest challenge in using and implementing Generative AI today is getting their data strategy right, followed by a lack of a strong organisational digital core. 

With 40% of all working hours set to be impacted by large language models like Chat GPT, it’s clear the value this technology has for businesses, their people and customers. European companies are picking up the pace in the Generative AI race, with ‘Gen AI’ innovation in Europe experiencing its fastest growth rate yet. Jean-Marc Ollagnier, CEO of Accenture for Europe

Speaking of challenges, 42 percent of European companies emphasized that the lack of talent, driven by a lack of adequate AI skill sets is a major challenge.

Although the investment in Generative AI is gaining strong momentum in Europe, companies are accelerating their investment in training courses because they are aware that the use of Generative AI in day-to-day work will have long-term benefits. The analysis states that:

  • 66 percent of companies are opting for Generative AI-specific training programs for 2023 and
  • 49 percent of companies are opting for on-the-job training for employees to learn how to use the technology.

Being aware of the upcoming benefits, 94 percent of European companies plan to increase their budgets for investment into Generative AI even further over the next two years.

When it comes to ready-made or custom-built solutions, 24 percent plan to invest in custom-built Generative AI tools, 46 percent favour pre-existing consumable products, and the rest are choosing to invest in a combination of the two.

The analysis also indicated that 88 percent of European companies support some degree of governmental regulation as the European Commission moves to impose stronger regulations on the use of AI.

 Jean-Marc Ollagnier added:

To actually extract value from Generative AI, businesses require a strong digital core of cloud and data, while ensuring it is implemented responsibly. Many European companies are still building their data foundation, however, which is acting as a roadblock to meaningful experimentation. This is an issue that must be addressed. It’s not about having a standalone technology strategy ready, though. It’s about reinventing your business, putting digital at its heart, and designing a deliberate and holistic innovation strategy. This means redesigning jobs and tasks and supporting people in reskilling, to ensure the business is well-positioned to embrace AI technology.

Lead image: Photo by Steve Johnson

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