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Generative AI and LLM Apps Impact IT Budgets

As senior executives review the performance of their Digital Transformation goals and objectives for 2023,  they're revising their digital business model strategic plans. Business technology investments are being re-balanced in some cases, due to recent market developments.

For example, 79 percent of corporate strategists said technologies such as data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and automation will now be critical to their success over the next two years, according to the latest worldwide market study by Gartner.

Strategists said that, on average, 50 percent of strategic planning and execution activities could be partially or fully automated -- currently only 15 percent are.

Strategy Automation Market Development

The Gartner survey was conducted from October 2022 through April 2023 among 200 corporate strategy leaders in North America, Western Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Australia - New Zealand, across different industries, revenue and company sizes.

"Leveraging analytics and AI for more efficient, insightful strategy decisions is one of the biggest challenges, and opportunities, corporate strategists face this year," said David Akers, director of research at Gartner.

For years, corporate strategists have said to business stakeholders, "If you want to stay competitive and effective, you need to go digital." Now, they appear ready to apply that guidance to their own workflows.

While most corporate strategists said that they are using descriptive and diagnostic analytics, less than half said they are using more advanced tools such as predictive, prescriptive or graph analytics.

Similarly, only 20 percent of corporate strategists reported using AI-related tools, such as machine learning or natural language processing, for their function.

However, a large percentage of strategy leaders said they are either piloting these tools or exploring use options. For example, 51 percent said they are investigating machine learning and 45 percent said the same for predictive analytics.

One of the biggest obstacles to implementation is establishing a clear use case for new technologies. Fifty-two percent of strategists report that this is a top-three challenge -- the most selected response.

"There are several reasons for this," said Akers. "Strategists face an unfamiliar vendor market, have too many options to choose from and have little precedent to build upon."

Much of the advanced technology that strategists said they are aiming to implement is already being used successfully elsewhere.

Outlook for Strategy Automation Applications Growth

To build a strong business case, Gartner recommends first mapping existing functionality to specific business needs, then consider how to prioritize the different strategy use cases that advanced technology could offer by asking questions about the purpose, impact and suitability of the new tools.

That said, I believe the rapid advancements of Generative AI has motivated many organization to revisit their IT budget allocations. As a result, some previously approved IT projects may be replaced with workflow automation solutions, enabled by the application a Large Language Models (LLMs).

Many organizations are just beginning to explore the business case for using their own data lakes as source content for LLMs, to train new custom AI automation solutions. This is a key trend to watch.

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