AI is changing the habits of business leaders

PARIS (Agefi-Dow Jones) – Everyone talks about artificial intelligence (AI), but how do bosses perceive this development? 70% of executives believe AI will create major changes in business organizations over the next five years, according to a study of 100 executives around the world by strategic consulting firm Kearney and Egon Zehnder Executive Recruitment Group.

On the other hand, only 43% think that their leadership role will be called into question. A sign that employers are ready to adapt to this change. How then should we approach this transition? A necessity, the manager must understand AI. “Transformations linked to technologies, and in particular to data and AI, are increasingly driven by general management”, says Reda Gomery, partner at Kearney. “Managers see AI as an opportunity to transform their organization and even their role as bosses. Even though implementation can be long and fraught with pitfalls, they see the potential in AI,” he continues.

Then, general management must support this change and allocate the necessary resources in time, money and personnel. For many companies, “the first challenge is expressed in terms of capabilities and means to get there, especially in terms of data, the fuel of AI”, continues Reda Gomery. “There are also issues in terms of compliance, ethics, use of personal data, etc., not to mention HR issues with the acquisition of new skills and talents”, says the expert. However, at the moment, only 20% of managers recognize that their company is prepared to face the transformations linked to AI. Three-quarters of bosses justify this uncertainty by their lack of preparation, due to a lack of expertise, budget and time.

AI is widely seen as a source of opportunity

Despite implementation difficulties, the majority (85%) of respondents see AI as an opportunity to be seized and not as a risk. Managers believe that this will improve their organization’s capabilities and gain competitiveness. Furthermore, one in two managers recognizes that they are the ones who should take charge of the matter. Which requires developing a strategy. It is accompanied by investments in infrastructure, external partnerships and recruitment of specialists. For the bosses interviewed, AI “will give them better access to knowledge of the company and its markets, allowing them to support their decision-making, improve risk management and create innovative products and services”, continues Reda Gomery .

The study finds five key success factors: assessing upstream the potential for value creation thanks to AI, ensuring the integrity of the data that feeds AI, protecting data, adopting a flexible technical framework adapted to future developments, and developing a change management strategy. inside the company. “AI will not necessarily eliminate jobs,” says Delphine Bourrilly, president and managing partner of Kearney France. “The challenge is to recruit talent to develop AI internally. All employees will also have to learn to work differently with the implementation of AI in the company’s different processes,” she adds.

Addressing the challenge of data costs and reliability

According to the study authors, there are four main AI risks that leaders need to monitor. First, the reliability of the data. Generative AI can produce erroneous results. Human presence is therefore required at all times to verify results. Secondly, the costs – of collecting, storing and processing information – are exploding and need to be managed as tightly as possible.

Third, using third-party services to process sensitive data is an additional source of risk. Kearney invites companies to verify the reliability and security of their third-party services and to clearly regulate each person’s roles and responsibilities, particularly in terms of data protection.

Fourth, put AI results into perspective. If the initial data is not exhaustive, the results provided by AI risk being biased. Today, “data is dispersed across large organizations,” observes Reda Gomery. “As AI and data go hand in hand, this still constitutes a real barrier to the deployment of AI on an industrial scale. Not to mention the cost issues, which companies want to control, and the lack of skills in the market”, he said. indicates.

Many French companies are testing AI in use cases

In France, “large companies have addressed the issue head-on and defined use cases,” notes Reda Gomery. “Managers are increasingly aware. The consumer goods sector is the first to act. This should translate into concrete achievements soon. The financial sector should follow suit”, she believes.

Starting with small projects with convincing results is a guarantee of rapid and lasting transformation. Companies often “define use cases to test AI, for example, for talent management and recruitment, or to manage contracts”, notes Reda Gomery. “Many French companies are in an experimental phase. They are waiting to measure the effects before moving towards wider deployment.”

At this stage, “the use of AI remains experimental and is not yet involved in defining the company’s strategy”, specifies Delphine Bourrilly. “AI will change many processes, even the core business of certain companies, but we still don’t know exactly how. The changes could be drastic, for example for the technology and services sectors (consulting, marketing…)”, she concludes . .

-Bruno de Roulhac, L’Agefi ed: VLV

Agefi-Dow Jones The financial news agency

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