The digital takeover of modern business continues to be top of mind for C-suite executives across Canada as emerging technologies like generative artificial intelligence trigger turbulence within their organizations and the markets at large.
A new report from Toronto titan Thomson Reuters gathered insights from executive leaders throughout North America and the UK to explore what C-suite members of enterprises perceive as short-term priorities—and how they feel about the ballooning elephant in the room, Gen AI.
Building on TR’s “The Future of Professionals Report” released in August, the “Future of Professionals: C-Suite Survey” finds that more than 90% of executives say their business is now using or planning to use generative AI within 18 months—certainly a higher number than any figure floated last year, when far fewer were convinced of the tech’s merit.
Nearly three-quarters of the C-suite intends to use AI to develop new products and services for their organization. Other areas where executives believe AI can help include: increasing customer satisfaction, acceleration digital transformation, and improving operational efficiency. A whopping 81% want AI to help them reduce spending on external services and contractors.
“C-Suite leaders are clearly recognizing the potential value of integrating AI into their businesses, seeing that it can play a critical role in driving, growth, innovation and efficiency,” stated Laura Clayton McDonnell, President of Corporates at Thomson Reuters.
What does this all mean for tech talent? More than one-third of leaders believe that Gen AI carries the potential to improve employee engagement and wellbeing.
Of course, there are concerns around AI, from managing data privacy to complying with shifting laws and regulations. And within the wheelhouse of talent, skilling for AI is a big debate. AI skills are already in-demand and it appears that demand only growing—but what’s the best way to train?
At least two-thirds of C-suite leaders report that their organization is offering some kind of Gen AI training, typically offered online and completed at an employee’s pace. Thomson Reuters itself is a Canadian leader here, committing significant resources toward skilling its workforce for a tech-forward future.
If that’s not something offered by your organization currently offers, consider upskilling. Hiring talent with skills around artificial intelligence is a priority for a strong majority of employers in Canada, data suggests, with employers willing to pay more to hire talent with AI skills, according to a study conducted by research firm Access Partnership on behalf of Amazon Web Services.
And even if AI fails to increase your demand as talent, it may reduce your workload. Microsoft’s 2023 Work Trend Index Annual Report found that more than two-thirds of people intend to delegate as much work as possible to AI.
“C-suite leaders have indicated that they are taking a pragmatic approach to Gen AI, coupling their growing use of the technology with a focus on training, investment in AI policies, and collaborative efforts with trusted partners,” said McDonnell.
Tech talent will be wise to treat AI seriously and with similar pragmatism.