GenAI: the next productivity frontier

GenAI: the next productivity frontier

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Previously, we discussed how 2023 is the year of GenAI.

Now moving into Q4, this trend has cemented its place in global businesses, as more and more companies adopt it.

The world’s users remain as curious as the technology itself, as both parties simultaneously learn from each other.

As companies increasingly realise the power and benefits of GenAI, the surrounding literature of thought pieces, use cases and risk analyses have grown with it. For example, McKinsey’s recent report on GenAI highlights how, for many users, it acts as the next productivity frontier.

‘Gradually, then all of a sudden’

The report remembers the first glimpses of GenAI in November 2022, with curiosity and fear over its future; an early understanding of how it could help work processes, and anxieties regarding what it might mean for future job security.

In the time since, GenAI’s usage has grown extensively, from OpenAI releasing ChatGPT to the more intelligent GPT-4 version only a few months later. This growth of GenAI is only set to continue, with 75% of its value coming from Customer Ops, Marketing and Sales, Software engineering and R&D. In fact, GenAI’s impact could add trillions of dollars in value to the global economy – with estimates between $2.6 trillion to as much as $4.4 trillion a year!

Whilst benefits to productivity cannot be overestimated, this still requires workers to be supported with new skills, as many will undoubtedly – be forced to – seek new occupations.

‘In addition to the potential value generative AI can deliver in specific use cases, the technology could drive value across an entire organisation by revolutionising internal knowledge management systems.’ McKinsey report

GenAI can automate as much as 60-70% of employee time, as it continuously learns and understands natural language, to help users perform tasks more efficiently.

McKinsey’s report suggests some of the following ways GenAI can shape departments:

Customer operations
  • Customer self-service interactions
  • Customer-agent interactions
  • Agent self-improvement
Software engineering
  • Inception and planning
  • System design
  • Coding
  • Testing
  • Maintenance
Takeaways and implications for procurement
  • Companies will want more of the ‘right’ digital and GenAI solutions in their work processes
  • Some users remain sceptical over where its data is stored, with some companies banning its use altogether over fears of competitive information being accessed
  • For workers across numerous industries, GenAI will automate many key processes

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