Today, there isn’t a discussion on the future that doesn’t include the role of artificial intelligence (AI). The focus is on identifying the opportunities that the responsible adoption of this rapidly evolving technology offers. But, as with any technology, success is found in the strength of your organization’s ability to collaborate and innovate.
For our clients, generative AI (GenAI) continues to be at the top of their agendas when meeting with us, yet its adoption remains in the early stages. As a result, they are looking to us for help in examining and implementing AI use cases, with trust and responsibility as key priorities. As AI technology rapidly evolves, our clients want to harness its potential to innovate and optimize business models and manage security risks to deliver greater value to their customers and citizens.
In my role as the business unit leader of the Asia Pacific Solutions Delivery Center, I focus on supporting CGI’s own collaboration and innovation to help best address our clients’ needs. For example, we are focused on integrating AI into our IP solutions to help our clients address business challenges through the effective use of data. We also are working to embed AI in our software engineering processes to increase efficiency and productivity.
Achieving breakthroughs through collaborative innovation
Central to our activity is working together to share knowledge responsibly and to innovate in a manner that helps clients transform their organizations for the better. Using a centralized platform for knowledge exchange and collaboration, we standardize AI practices, capture industry-specific knowledge, reduce redundancy, and ensure all of our consultants are equipped to best help our clients on the journey ahead. This platform is of particular value given that we are helping clients across multiple geographies and industry sectors accelerate their time-to-value from new GenAI applications.
As my colleague Gaby Lio shares in her blog, “Two artificial intelligence must-haves,” to achieve the potential and promise of AI, it is essential for your culture to be agile, flexible and motivating. It’s also important to establish measures and incentives to ensure your workforce understands AI so you can adopt and accelerate its use responsibly in a manner that brings value to your organization and mitigates risks.
So, how do you transform large teams into a workforce that helps you embrace AI?
The good news is that there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. One of the best ways is to draw on transformational approaches that worked in the past.
Let’s take the transition from waterfall to agile delivery. A few years ago, organizations moved from the traditional, linear, structured waterfall approach to an agile approach that is iterative, flexible and collaborative. Those organizations that experienced high agile project success rates were the ones that adopted an agile-ready culture that prioritized communication, collaboration and the right transitional plan that brought together people, processes and technology.
What stood out definitively was that the success of this transition came down to people.
As you transition your culture to responsibly embrace the opportunities of GenAI, people will be the pivotal factor once more. AI isn’t new. You can draw upon your experience with leveraging automation and other AI technologies from the past. For example, at CGI, we’ve been using AI for years to help clients gather insights and make informed decisions. As GenAI rapidly advances, we will draw upon patterns seen before as part of helping clients navigate today’s uncertainties and seek ways to embrace new opportunities.
Taking a human-first approach
The “human in the loop” (HITL) concept is what has driven all of our earlier transformations – and it’s what will drive the GenAI transformation as well. Here are some recommendations based on our experience in adopting new approaches and technologies over the past decades and helping clients investigate the potential of GenAI today.
- Understand and demonstrate the potential of AI. Ensure your business, functional and IT leaders come together to communicate the importance of AI learning and adoption and how AI can drive value. This is particularly important in today’s business environment, where clients seek ROI-led digitization outcomes as they apply a sharper focus on spending.
- Partner with experts. Bring in transformation consultants to help these leaders and their teams adopt new ways of working and drive the necessary cultural change.
- Focus on the responsible use of AI. Have these consultants work with team members from all disciplines to think of how to take advantage of AI responsibly. For example, at CGI we employ a Responsible Use of AI framework aligned with robust, ethical and trustworthy principles to guide each of us in our roles, whether directly supporting client engagements or supporting CGI systems.
- Make people your central focus. Ensure people are at the center of the use cases you select, and then work with an experienced partner to help you build a foundation that autogenerates your use cases, tests them for viability, scales them responsibly, etc.
- Nurture a culture for AI to flourish. Evaluate and enhance your culture to encourage employees to experiment and take risks. Rather than fear failure, use it as a learning opportunity to advance AI use.
We are now at another inflection point where we need to integrate AI into how we build our strategies, enhance our processes, and accelerate the enabling systems and technologies. Although these are the early days, the speed at which AI is developing makes it imperative that the supportive collaboration and innovation culture and ways of working are developed at speed as well.