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Adopting shadow AI can help accelerate innovation

Adopting shadow AI can help accelerate innovation


Emerging technologies are undermining IT leaders, so it's no wonder some are clenching their teeth against unauthorized use of shadow and generative AI and related services.

CIOs remember more than a decade ago when cloud computing revolutionized the industry. They remember business leaders using corporate credit cards for startup cloud applications.

But once IT leaders realized how much their employees valued these tools, they emerged. They secured enterprise licenses, integrated the technology into existing IT systems, and trained employees. IT leaders increased productivity while maintaining security.

Democratizing AI With the proliferation of genAI services, IT leaders are preparing for the growth of shadow AI.

But IT leaders should embrace and enhance their employees' genAI experience, rather than hinder it.

This achieves two desirable goals: increased employee productivity and improved customer experience.

GenAI can bridge IT and business

According to McKinsey Digital, GenAI could help increase profits by up to $4.4 trillion by improving productivity across customer operations, sales and marketing, software engineering, and research and development. 1

As genAI gains momentum, IT departments need to learn what employees want to use, educate them on how to use it responsibly, and put guardrails in place. This may help IT departments win friendships with businesses with which they are still at odds.

More than half of IT decision makers want stronger relationships with colleagues, while 81% of business decision makers exclude IT colleagues from strategic decision-making, according to new research from Dell please. 2 Lack of trust is usually the key issue. point.

But IT leaders can draw lessons from past experiences with shadow IT to build bridges between employees and genAI to foster trust and generate innovation. These tips will give you direction.

Establishing the genAI stance

Some IT leaders' first instinct is to create, or at least mandate, any technology solution. Instead, IT leaders need to learn and understand how employees leverage their genAI to help them do their jobs.

As McKinsey noted, IT leaders must work with executives to build consensus on how to use genAI to accelerate the business, but must balance such efforts with risk mitigation. there is.

Leaders communicate this message to rank-and-file employees early and often.

Adopt a product management mindset

When partnering with vendors or building solutions, IT leaders can position themselves as innovators by doing so with a product management mindset that aligns agile development practices with business goals.

“CIOs can use this approach to ensure that technology solutions directly contribute to the organization's goals,” says CIO-turned-investor Yousuf Khan.

After improving your skills, wash and rinse again.

GenAI is still new, so most employees don't know how to use it yet, and most companies don't support it. According to a survey of executives conducted by Boston Consulting Group, only 6% of companies have trained more than 25% of their employees on genAI tools. 3

Organizations must tailor education, training, and tools for technical and non-technical employees.

Accenture CEO Julie Sweet said at the recent World Economic Forum that Accenture plans to train 250,000 employees on the responsible use of genAI services. “This is basic digital literacy to run a company and be a good company,” Sweet says.

The risks of acquiring such literacy are high. According to an IDC study commissioned by Dell, genAI adoption will redefine or eliminate 40% of current job roles across large enterprises. Four

Responsible AI and sound governance practices

From a risk perspective, genAI is like Jurassic Park: chaotic. The GenAI service is a black box. No one knows how they reach their conclusions. They may also hallucinate or give false information. Organized or inaccurate content can put your company's reputation, or worse, at risk.

This is why it is important to reduce risk. Accenture's Sweet predicted that over the next 12 to 24 months, most companies will be tracking and assessing AI risks and applying mitigation strategies as needed.

That timeline feels long. Organizations deploying genAI should establish governance and security models now, ideally adopting a zero trust approach, to keep their organizations secure.

one more

While it is instinctive for IT leaders to return to a traditional command-and-control stance, genAI is easy to use and easily accessible to most employees.

Instead, IT leaders must work with their business colleagues to adopt and build secure, vetted technology that they use responsibly, and to educate and communicate to the public how to use it.

Trusted partners can help by providing hardware, software, and services that enable organizations to bring AI to their data while respecting IT governance, and democratize access to genAI services for employees.

For more information, please visit

1 “The Economic Potential of Generative AI: The Next Productivity Frontier”, McKinsey Digital, June 2023 2 “Building Your Innovation Muscle”, Dell Technologies, February 2024 3 “From Potential to Profit with GenAI” , BCG, January 2024 4 The Era of Workforce Upskilling for AI, IDC, January 2024




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