Technology priorities dominate the C-suite priority list as economic concerns begin to ease, according to a PwC survey published Tuesday that polled 609 senior U.S. executives during the first week of August. Nearly 3 in 5 executives plan to invest in new technologies over the next 12 to 18 months, according to the study.
Generative AI investments are a top business priority for nearly half of executives, PwC found. Despite interest in adoption, finding measurable value in new technology investments represents a challenge for nearly all executives. The cost of deploying new technologies is also a hurdle for more than 4 in 5 business leaders.
Hype and headlines aside, enterprise executives are still in the early stages of understanding exactly how generative AI supports broader business goals.
"What we're finding on a consistent basis is that almost every company across every sector is doing an inward analysis of how generative AI impacts their companies, both on an efficiency standpoint and on a growth standpoint," said Neil Dhar, U.S. vice chairman and consulting co-leader at PwC.
Most organizations right now are focused on bringing management teams together and identifying which areas, from backend tasks to more customer-facing processes, stand to gain from generative AI adoption, Dhar said.
Unsurprisingly, the assessment found the CIO is the most optimistic member of the C-suite when it comes to emerging technology.
More than 4 in 5 CIOs believe generative AI will support new business models within their units over the next year and a half. Overall, just two-thirds of C-suite members share that belief.
Despite ambitious plans for adoption and investments, the technology is still nascent in the eyes of most leaders, who remain concerned over the risks of plugging generative AI into their organizations.
More than half of leaders say generative AI brings cybersecurity risk and potential inaccuracies, according to a McKinsey survey published Aug. 1. Though risks are a top concern, just one-third of organizations have processes in place to lower security risk.