KPMG Survey: Momentum for Generative AI Continues to Build in Organizations

A new KPMG survey finds nearly all respondents expect generative AI to positively impact their organizations and are not overly concerned about the evolving regulatory environment.

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It has been nearly a year since ChatGPT burst onto the scene and excitement about it in organizations continues to grow. A newly released study by KPMG found that 97% of respondents expect their organization to be highly or extremelyhighly impacted by generative AI in the next 12 to 18 months.

Not only that but generative AI is rated to be the top emerging enterprise technology. 80% believe that it will disrupt their industry and nearly all (93%) think generative AI will provide value to their business.

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Generative AI investment fever

The enthusiasm for generative AI is translating into significant increases in related tech investments. According to the KPMG study, a majority (80%) of respondents said they anticipate increasing their investments in generative AI by more than 50% in the next six months to a year. 45% say it will more than double.

Many of the survey respondents said they will use this increased investment to prioritize infrastructure and scale business through generative AI applications.

SEE: Firm study predicts big spends on generative AI (TechRepublic)

Improving existing business models and leadership demand are the leading drivers behind this increase. Even though respondents report that investments will happen in functional areas across the board, three in four business leaders are looking to leverage generative AI for marketing and sales.

How generative AI has already impacted businesses

Generative AI has already made an impact in areas such as customer service and self-service support, Steve Chase, KPMG U.S. consulting lead, told TechRepublic. “Our clients who have leveraged generative AI to augment knowledge workers in call centers or make enhancements to their virtual chatbots are already seeing a significant return on investment.”

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However, the main reason for their success is because of earlier investments made in automation technologies. These allowed for swift implementation of generative AI into their processes and systems, Chase added.

“Another area our clients are getting a lot of value from is generative AI’s ability to automate content generation, such as proposal responses, social media assets, email templates, and more,” he said. “It’s also made copywriting and editing tremendously more efficient.”

Survey respondents also cited IT/tech and operations as the other functional areas that are expected to be impacted the most by generative AI.

Regulatory concerns are not halting Gen AI adoption plans

While respondents expressed some concern about the generative AI regulation, most businesses do not expect to slow their adoption plans. 35% of respondents said they will not pause adoption and 41% are willing to take a three-to-six-month pause to monitor the regulatory landscape.

Business leaders also anticipate the most regulatory actions around data privacy (51%), security (46%), and transparency (44%). Less is anticipated around copyright (25%) and bias (24%).

Although most (77%) business leaders said that the uncertain and evolving regulatory landscape impacts their investment decisions, they are confident they’ll meet the requirements. In preparation, many are hiring specialized talent (data privacy, bias), creating new roles, and/or partnering with external consultants to help navigate the generative AI regulations.

Generative AI will contribute to workforce positivity

84% of respondents believe that generative AI will have a positive impact on their workforce. Half feel generative AI will likely expand their overall headcount. Not surprisingly, they also said hiring preference will go to those who specialize in generative AI.

Additionally, business leaders feel that generative AI is very likely to support workforce initiatives. This includes increased professional development, reduced overtime, and more in-person connectivity. SEE: TechRepublic Premium’s prompt engineer hiring kit

To cope with the usage of generative AI, about half of the respondent organizations are upskilling their existing employees either through small- or large-scale efforts.

One of the noteworthy findings from this recent survey is a change in attitude from KPMG’s initial survey on generative AI conducted in April 2023. The survey “revealed that while executives expect generative AI to have an enormous impact on business, many of them felt unprepared for immediate adoption,” observed Chase.

When comparing the findings from April with the latest study from June, he said most organizations (66%) still haven’t moved out of the researching/piloting phase. This is still the case even though a majority of leaders still anticipate significant disruption to their industry.

“For leaders to capitalize on generative AI’s potential for growth and efficiencies, they will need to make critical decisions very shortly that can move their organization into deployment and ultimately industrialization of the technology,” Chase said. “The clients we work with who have fully embraced generative AI are already seeing a substantial impact on their business and firmly believe it will be a competitive game changer for them in the future.”

Early-adopter organizations will be in a better position to drive enterprise-wide transformation and innovation versus organizations still in early-phase implementation, he added.

Survey methodology

KPMG said the survey was conducted online between June 9, 2023, and June 23, 2023, and reached 200 business decision-makers in the U.S. The report also includes data from KPMG’s Gen AI survey conducted in April 2023 among 225 business leaders in the U.S. for comparison purposes. Respondents for this latest survey were from companies with $1 billion or more in annual revenue and included a mix of business functions and industries.

You can see a recap of the survey’s findings in the infographic in Figure A.

Figure A

KPMG's June 2023 generative AI survey highlights. Image: KPMG
KPMG’s June 2023 generative AI survey highlights. Image: KPMG

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