Enterprises are using generative AI in a big way.
Companies in virtually every industry are experimenting with (and investing in) generative AI tools, and rolling them out across every function, including IT, operations, marketing, sales, and support.
The exciting news: Professionals recognize the significant benefits of generative AI, citing employee productivity, higher-quality output, and cost savings. They also acknowledge the risks of enterprise use of generative AI, especially data privacy and the inability to ensure message consistency.
The troubling findings: ChatGPT is the most-used tool, with 47% of total (and 52% of regulated) companies using it. This presents organizations with security, privacy, and brand reputation risks.
Enterprise executives should take note.
Writer conducted its first survey on generative AI in the enterprise with a sample of 466 directors and above in organizations with more than 1,000 employees between April 13 and 16, 2023. In it, we highlight their usage of, and opinions about, generative AI in their respective companies. Among the findings:
- 59% of companies have purchased or plan to purchase at least one generative AI tool this year.
- 19% of companies use five or more generative AI tools.
- Generative AI is in use in every function in the enterprise.
- ChatGPT is both the most-used and most-banned tool.
- 46% of respondents believe someone in their company may have inadvertently shared corporate data with ChatGPT.
- 56% of respondents say generative AI boosts productivity by at least 50%.
ABOUT THE SURVEY
Role Director or above
Company size >1,000 employees
Date April 13–16, 2023
Nearly one-fifth of companies use five or more generative AI tools
Generative AI is solidly in the mainstream market phase of the tech adoption lifecycle. The vast majority of organizations are already using, or are planning to use, at least one generative AI tool. 59% of respondents say their company has purchased at least one such tool, or plans to purchase one this year.
In organizations where generative AI implementation isn’t on the table yet, employees are finding other ways to use it. 11% of respondents say their companies aren’t planning to purchase such a tool, but they’re aware of individuals using them for work.
And if you need further proof that the technology has crossed the adoption chasm into the mainstream, you need only look to the following: only 7% of respondents say their company isn’t planning to purchase a generative AI tool, nor are they aware of anyone using such tools for work.
More than one-third of respondents (35%) use 1–2 tools in their company, with another 23% using 3–4. A full 19% say their company uses five or more tools.
With the vast majority of companies’ employees using generative AI in either a company-approved or unofficial capacity, now is the time to take stock of what tools are in use, and what the top use cases are.
As you’ll see later in this report, some tools may not comply with your IT security requirements; it’s essential that your company develop an AI use policy for employees ASAP.
Also, if your organization has multiple AI tools for a variety of use cases, there may be opportunities for consolidation.
ChatGPT: the most used and most banned
Organizations are using a variety of generative AI tools, chief among them ChatGPT. The popular, free chatbot from OpenAI is by far the most-cited tool in use (47%), with CopyAI second (35%), and Anyword third (26%).
The industries that are the most prolific users of ChatGPT are Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (85%), Information and Technology (82%), and Finance and Insurance (61%).
But almost as much as organizations are using generative AI, they’re also banning it. ChatGPT is the most banned (32%), followed by CopyAI (28%),
and Jasper (23%)1. And a full 20% of respondents don’t even know if their company has banned or restricted use of any generative AI tools.
1ChatGPT, Copy.ai, and Jasper are built on or use the same foundation models (GPT-3/3.5 and GPT-4) from OpenAI.
Given ChatGPT’s popularity, it’s time to consider whether the tool — or any tool built on an OpenAI foundation — fits with your data privacy, brand, and regulatory policies, and begin collecting functional use cases so you can evaluate alternatives.
If your organization has already developed a policy on the use of ChatGPT, consider implementing an ongoing communication and training plan so everyone knows which tools are safe to use, and how to use them without exposing your company’s sensitive data.
Everybody’s using generative AI
Not only are organizations using generative AI, but they’re using them across virtually every function. We asked respondents to select all that apply, and seven functional groups received at least 15% of the vote: information technology (30%), operations (23%), customer success (20%), marketing (18%), support (16%), sales (15%), and HR (15%).
Copy, copy, and more copy
How are organizations using generative AI? The most oft-cited use cases are creating short copy, such as ads and headlines (31%), repurposing existing content for different media/channels (27%), and creating longform content, such as blogs and knowledge base articles (25%).
More people creating and repurposing content across your organization means more potential for non-compliant language and off-brand terminology. Establish and review your editorial guidelines for writing and voice consistency.
Generative AI boosts productivity
Senior leaders see a lot of promise in generative AI. The top benefits they cite are employee productivity (23%), higher-quality output (22%), and cost savings (20%). Only 6% of respondents say there’s little to no benefit.
While productivity wins out as the top benefit, filtering for just the marketing function or just the technology industry puts higher-quality output as the top benefit by a hefty margin of 11 and 13 percentage points, respectively.
Just how much of a productivity boost does generative AI give business users? According to 85% of respondents, generative AI boosts productivity
by at least 25%. 56% say that number is 50% or more, and 26% say it’s 75%
Poll the top users in your company to understand the nature of productivity gains and output improvements so you can build a business case and usage framework for generative AI.
Oops! 46% believe colleagues have shared corporate data with ChatGPT
More than three-quarters (76%) of respondents say their companies are somewhat or very aware of the risks of generative AI.
They cite data privacy and message consistency as nearly equal top risks (both 23%), followed by accuracy (14%). 12% say there’s little to no risk.
35% of respondents are in a regulated industry, and 60% say data privacy is important or very important to their company. Of those whose companies are in a regulated industry, 52% use ChatGPT.
Regulated companies that use ChatGPT: 52%
Despite data privacy and message consistency being cited as top risks of generative AI tools, 59% of respondents say the tools their companies are using ensure data privacy, and 57% say they enforce brand, message, or style guide consistency. That said, 46% of respondents believe someone in their company may have inadvertently shared corporate data with ChatGPT.
Work with your information security, legal, and brand leaders to establish usage guidelines for generative AI, and incorporate any data leakage scenarios into your risk planning and mitigation strategy.