Why Your Enterprise Gen AI Deployment Isn’t Delivering & How to Identify Truly Impactful Gen AI Use Cases

Learn how to identify the hardest hitting Gen AI use cases for your organization and see more robust returns on your AI tooling investments.
July 9, 2024
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The excitement and buzz surrounding generative AI has been impossible to miss for years now. Every investor board wants to know how you plan to use it, and every CEO is building it into their roadmap. A survey of 500 senior data leaders revealed that 42% of the marketplace has already implemented some form of AI in their business, while another 43% intended to take the AI leap by year’s end. Thanks to data cloud platforms like the Snowflake AI Data Cloud, it’s never been easier to implement these tools, and so it’s no surprise to see so many organizations leveraging these exciting technologies.

With such dramatic adoption in such a short period of time, some businesses are already able to measure return on investment (ROI) metrics around their enterprise AI deployment. Others will follow suit in a matter of months. Unfortunately, for many of these AI adopters, the ROI measurements won’t tell the story their business hoped.

Because, like most trends that trigger such an immediate and anxious response in the market, the pressure to adopt AI has caused many to act rashly, and with poor execution, AI becomes just like any other bad data project: expensive and hard to justify. As it turns out, identifying strong Gen AI use cases is the first and most important step to a successful AI deployment strategy.

In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind lackluster enterprise Gen AI deployments, identifying actionable steps organizations can take to get the most out of their Gen AI initiatives, even if they’ve already made a few missteps.

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The Paradox of Gen AI Expectations vs. Reality

Let’s start with a little good news: there is strong ROI on data technology spends. On the whole, organizations are getting 126% ROI from their data tech investments. The more modernized an organization’s infrastructure is, the higher that ROI jumps. At the top end, the most data-mature companies are getting a whopping 164% ROI on their data spends. So why does this positive stat fail to hold true when it comes to some generative AI projects? Well, when you break it down, it’s no mystery.

The narrative around generative AI often paints a picture of effortless transformation and instant value generation, leading to a chasm between expectation and reality for many enterprises. This divide is not merely a result of overhyped capabilities by vendors, but also a misconception of AI as a plug-and-play solution for immediate gains. 

The stark reality facing CIOs, IT Directors, and data leaders across the spectrum is that Gen AI, while powerful, demands a nuanced understanding of its integration into the existing fabric of an organization’s operations and strategy. The crux of the disappointment stems from the expectation that Gen AI can autonomously navigate the complexities of an organization’s unique challenges without substantial groundwork.

Gen AI’s success is contingent upon a meticulous orchestration of data architecture, clear strategic alignment, and an iterative approach to implementation. Organizations that leap towards Gen AI with an expectation of linear progress often find themselves grappling with the intricacies of aligning AI capabilities with the nuanced dynamics of their business processes. 

The key for those hoping to avoid pitfalls is to recalibrate expectations, underscoring the importance of viewing Gen AI not as a shortcut to innovation, but as a sophisticated tool that, when wielded with precision and understanding, can unlock unparalleled value and insights.

The Crucial Role of Data Architecture in Realizing ROI from Your Gen AI

The linchpin of a successful Gen AI initiative isn’t the sophistication of the algorithm itself, but the architecture of the data it feeds on. A misconception plaguing many enterprises is the belief that the implementation of Gen AI technologies guarantees a competitive edge. Without a meticulously crafted data infrastructure, these ambitions will falter. 

Data architecture, in this context, transcends mere storage solutions and clean datasets. It encapsulates a holistic strategy encompassing governance, interoperability, and real-time data processing capabilities. This infrastructure must be agile, scalable, and secure, enabling Gen AI systems to access, analyze, and act upon data from varied sources with unprecedented precision. When it comes to AI implementation, the overlooked factor (and perhaps the most critical) is the symbiotic relationship between data architecture and Gen AI effectiveness. 

An adaptive data architecture not only empowers Gen AI but is also inherently designed to evolve, ensuring that as Gen AI technologies advance, the underlying data ecosystem is poised to support next-generation needs. Ignoring this foundation is akin to building castles in the sand, where the promise of technological innovation is undermined by the shifting tides of data inadequacy.

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Identifying Strong Gen AI Use Cases: A Strategic Approach

Selecting the right projects for Gen AI deployment requires surgical precision in understanding where AI can truly augment and enhance your business operations. It’s a common misstep to deploy Gen AI in areas that appear tech-forward but lack strategic importance or readiness for such advanced integration. The essence of a Gen AI-friendly project lies not only in its potential to automate but in its capacity to fundamentally transform decision-making processes and operational efficiency. A project ripe for Gen AI will have: 

  • Rich, well-governed data to draw from, allowing you to both feed and train your AI model
  • Well-defined, documented, and repeatable processes that, if executed without anomalies, would deliver significant operational gains
  • Outcomes that directly influence your strategic business goals

Instead of being seduced by the allure of using Gen AI everywhere, successful organizations take a disciplined approach to identifying projects where the application of Gen AI will not just innovate, but also accelerate their competitive advantage. 

This entails a thorough analysis of data maturity, identifying bottlenecks that hinder performance, and projects that, if optimized, could lead to exponential growth. In essence, the strategic approach to identifying strong Gen AI use cases involves a meticulous alignment of technology capabilities with core business objectives, ensuring that every implementation is a step toward transformative growth.

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Industry-Specific Insights: Where Gen AI Delivers Best

Industries that have carved out significant ROI from Gen AI deployments are those that pivot towards optimizing internal operations over external customer interactions. Take, for example, the manufacturing sector, where predictive maintenance and quality control (powered by Gen AI) have drastically reduced downtime and improved production standards. Or consider the logistics industry, where Gen AI-driven route optimization and inventory management have revolutionized efficiency, slashing costs and enhancing delivery times. 

These sectors reveal an essential insight: the highest leverage of Gen AI lies not in the flashy allure of customer engagement, but in the gritty, less visible areas of operational enhancement. By shifting focus to internal processes that benefit from Gen AI’s pattern recognition and predictive capabilities, industries are unlocking transformative outcomes. This strategic realignment towards internal efficiencies represents a meaningful, yet under-appreciated pathway to leveraging Gen AI for substantial industry-specific gains.

Healthcare is another sector demonstrating this paradigm shift. Gen AI-powered diagnostic tools and predictive analytics in patient management have augmented precision and sped up processes, improving both patient outcomes and operational efficiency. Data analysis in clinical trials, powered by Gen AI, also ensures faster, more accurate results, accelerating the pace of medical advancement. Rethinking the role of Gen AI in these context-specific operational capacities has immense potential for superior, sustainable results.

The pattern—since we’re telling you pattern recognition is the key—comes down to this: Organizations that are getting ROI from their generative AI deployment found something critical and repeatable in their business. Then they applied AI. They didn’t start with the question, ‘How can I use AI?’ They started with the questions: ‘What element of my business should follow a specific pattern?’ and ‘If I could automate that pattern, what would it mean for my bottom line?’

The Pragmatic Path to Gen AI that Delivers Powerful ROI with Hakkōda

Unlocking the true potential of Gen AI within your organization requires a clear and incisive look at the operational patterns of your own business, embracing a strategy that zeros in on tangible benefits and systemic improvements. The key to a robust ROI lies not in grandiose AI projects but in addressing the mundane yet critical inefficiencies that limit productivity. In short, successful Gen AI integration comes down to identifying the right Gen AI use cases.

Focus on automating manual, error-prone processes where AI’s precision can significantly reduce operational costs and streamline workflows. Prioritize scalability and pattern recognition in vast datasets to preemptively correct inefficiencies and adapt in real-time to market demands. 

This pragmatic path underscores the necessity of a holistic approach, integrating AI solutions into the broader ecosystem of your operations, ensuring every initiative is tightly aligned with strategic business objectives. Embrace this perspective shift towards practical, impactful applications of Gen AI, and set the stage for transformative success that defies the status quo.

At Hakkoda, our experts know how to leverage GenAI tools to build capabilities that will make a real impact on your organization’s bottom line. Let’s talk today about how Hakkoda can help you leverage exciting AI technologies to transform your business’s operations.

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