AI and IT

By Tammy Pinter, Todd Musgrove, and Ron Exler
October 3, 2023
Season 5, Episode 1

In this episode of the Business Excelleration® Podcast, how can IT organizations most effectively vet, evaluate, and integrate AI into their enterprise? A discussion with Tammy Pinter (Practice Leader, Global IT Advisory), Ron Exler (Senior Research Director, Enterprise IT) and Todd Musgrove (Associate Principal, Technology Transformation). Part of a series of podcast episodes covering issues related to Generative AI.

Welcome to The Hackett Group’s “Business Excelleration Podcast,” where week after week we hear from experts on how to avoid obstacles, manage detours and celebrate milestones on the journey to world-class performance. This episode is hosted by Gary Baker, Group Global Communications director at The Hackett Group. Today’s episode will discuss how information technology (IT) organizations effectively vet, evaluate and integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into their enterprise infrastructure. Gary is joined by three experts in the field: Global IT Executive Advisory Leader Tammy Pinter, ​​Senior Research Director Enterprise IT Ron Exler and Associate Principal Technology Transformation Todd Musgrove.

To begin, they discuss what IT executives are asking about that concerns AI. They want to know how AI can create value for their organizations, and how to leverage AI to optimize operations. They are also concerned with potential risks, resources and skills needed to implement AI.

Another topic IT executives are asking about is the ethics and bias of AI, data privacy concerns and adaptability for AI to their organization. They want to know what they need to do to put AI in place, like an executive committee. According to their research, 62% of companies have started AI projects, but fewer than 10% have a fully developed enterprise AI strategy. Then, they discuss the role that IT departments should take in developing an enterprise AI strategy. IT departments should be at the heart of the enterprise AI strategy, and fully responsible with ensuring data privacy and security. They need to be able to answer any technical problems that arise and educate other parts of the company about AI. Tammy says not all departments will come to AI at the same time, so they need to set it up correctly and absorb what the business wants on their timeline.

Next, they talk about how IT should approach multifunctional committees. Organizations already have a technology committee in general, but they need to leverage that. IT’s role in educating enterprises about AI is to bring the technical expertise to the committee and understand the limitations and benefits of AI. IT needs to inform the business and make sure the leaders are well-educated. IT should know the most about technologies and advise on the risks. They also need to facilitate pilots and different cases to show the benefits and shortfalls of them. They need to be integral in developing guidelines for the use of these technologies. In The Hackett Group’s data collection, they found that chatbots are one of the top forms of AI used especially in contact centers and customer service. AI is also used in machine learning, image and speech recognition, cybersecurity, and help desks.

In addition, they discuss what technologies are being implemented from an advisory perspective with clients. Service providers and software advisers will be the first to adopt these technologies. Let solution providers implement this because it will be part of your solution soon enough. Generative AI is already part of solutions and software being implemented. AI can still give the wrong answer, so we need to set up a system to check this, and IT can take a leadership position in this. Most companies also have to explain that AI is in use in their companies and must disclose that information. Every technology being implemented has challenges, but it’s IT’s responsibility to stay on top of the innovative technologies and work proactively to work through those kinks.

In closing, they talk about AI ethics and committees, and how businesses should establish a committee to address these issues. There also needs to be cross-functional responsibilities where IT should be in a leadership position. The maturity where each function is in the business may vary, so IT should step up and fill in that gap. The overall adoption of every solution of the company will fail if they do not have a common goal.

Time stamps:

0:58 – Welcome to this episode hosted by Gary Baker.

1:46 – What IT executives are concerned with in regard to AI.

3:50 – What role should IT departments take in developing an enterprise AI strategy?

6:25 – How IT should approach multifunctional committees.

7:09 – IT’s role in educating enterprises about AI.

8:57 – Top types of AI used in data collection.

10:09 – What technologies are being implemented from an advisory perspective with our clients?

17:11 – Does every business function need to implement generative AI?