Accelerating AI Adoption: 600 CDOs Reveal Their 2024 Strategies

Accelerating AI Adoption: 600 CDOs Reveal Their 2024 Strategies

The generative AI era is upon us! In my recent discussions with data leaders worldwide about opportunities and challenges, there’s optimism that embracing a data-driven, AI-powered digital business can hold the key to success in 2024 and beyond. But the underlying message is also clear — success must start with trusted data to power modern businesses for achieving trustworthy AI, reliable analytics and better customer engagement goals.

And there is good news on the horizon: this transformation involving trusted data and AI is expected to bring significant benefits, including improved performance and accelerated growth, as organizations look for an edge to outpace their competition. Could this be a case of “go big or go home” on AI’s promise? Perhaps. However, the journey to AI readiness is not without obstacles on the road ahead.

Based on the recent report we commissioned, “CDO Insights 2024: Charting a Course to AI Readiness,” we are seeing that AI can be disruptive when adoption is not handled appropriately and purposefully with a well thought out strategy. Yet, if done right, it can deliver rewards for helping to scale today’s digital businesses, notably when combined with cloud modernization for increased agility in handling data and AI management.

This survey of 600 CDOs reveals several common issues shared by data leaders that stand in the way to success, including a lack of resources and alignment on data management objectives. Moreover, an overwhelming 99% of CDOs cite data- or tech-related obstacles to realizing their data strategy, which is consistent with prior surveys.

Despite these challenges, data leaders surveyed over this past year remain optimistic about achieving their goals. We also see them investing more heavily in data management capabilities to get AI right for their organizations.

So, what are we hearing about how CDOs are getting ready for AI… including their data?

AI Adoption and its Impact on Organizations: Lessons Learned

AI is top of mind for many data leaders, with 45% having already implemented generative AI and another 54% planning to do so soon. At the same time, delivering reliable and consistent data fit for generative AI is a critical concern for data leaders to realize their data strategies. Plainly, the axiom of “garbage in, garbage out” is understood if AI cannot be delivered when built on trusted data sources!

But while it’s easy to simply blame poor-quality data, the survey reveals that people hold the key to more confident AI adoption. To adopt AI successfully, data leaders are looking to upskill or reskill their staff on AI and machine learning. This is consistent with previous surveys we have explored; a historical emphasis on data literacy persists, now being augmented by a need for improved AI literacy.

Reliable Data Management is Key

Adopting AI and delivering trusted data to fuel it will not be easy:

From the survey participants, 58% are already managing 5+ tools just to wrangle the 1,000+ data sources that 41% are utilizing.

And as data quality and the volume of data — as well as increasing demands by data consumers — exacerbate the strain on data leaders, the need for a single consolidated solution to manage all this complexity becomes abundantly clearer.

Relying on existing staff for upskilling or reskilling to manage AI – a consideration of 48% of data leaders – can significantly advance AI and data goals. But that will not be enough without providing employees with effective tools. Well-trained employees using powerful tools are the right formula for delivering reliable data!

What tools are top on the list for CDOs in 2024 to drive AI adoption?

Data leaders surveyed tell us that they are investing heavily in data management capabilities that focus primarily on data privacy and protection, data quality and observability, and data integration and engineering to improve overall data governance. These investments will be the ones most crucial to support data strategy priorities and make the most of generative AI moving forward.

Also Read
Why CDOs Need AI-Powered Data Management to Accelerate AI Readiness in 2024
Accelerating AI Adoption: 600 CDOs Reveal Their 2024 Strategies

The Future is Bright, Although Daunting

Despite the challenges, I see optimism from data leaders in the face of the great unknowns of generative AI’s promise. The AI era presents an opportunity for organizations to undergo transformative change and gain a competitive edge, provided that risks and functional gaps are effectively managed and reduced.

By investing in AI and data management together, it is not an either/or scenario as both drive the success of the other. Data leaders can propel their organizations into the future and achieve their goals when data management for AI – and AI-powered data management – build on each other to create mutual confidence during adoption.

Overall, the resounding message from the 600 CDO’s surveyed is clear: trusted data is needed to deliver trusted AI.

As a data leader with a long-term strategy, your role is crucial in navigating the challenges and opportunities of the road ahead. Your investments in data management and AI will not only enable your organization to embrace the future but outpace your competition. But the focus must be on how data and AI are handled responsibly, ethically and with clear purpose – empowering the right people, processes and tools across your organization.

To discover more about what being “data driven” means for today’s data leaders in the AI era and how you can empower data-led outcomes for your organization, download your copy of “CDO Insights 2024: Charting a Course to AI Readiness.

About the Author:

Nathan Turajski is Senior Director for Data & AI Governance and Privacy products and solutions at Informatica. His focus is go-to-market strategies that enable organizations to automate and scale data intelligence and manage risk exposure, enabling organizations to innovate while minimizing abuses, achieving policy compliance, and unleashing business value from data.

Prior to Informatica, Nathan held product management and marketing roles at Micro Focus, Hewlett-Packard and HPE, and Thales. Expertise includes governance, risk and compliance; virtualization and SaaS platforms; access management; messaging security; policy-based dynamic authorization; encryption key management and masking, hardware and software; and security operations management.

With over 20 years experience in IT governance, risk, compliance and security, Nathan has launched Silicon Valley start-ups in product management and marketing including Securant Technologies (acquired by RSA Security), Postini (acquired by Google), and NextLabs. He has also led product management for global security vendors Trend Micro (messaging security), Thales e-Security (encryption key management), and HP (HSMs, data masking).

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