Google and Leathwaite Gen AI breakfast

31 Oct 2023

In a room full of data, digital and technology leaders in London, it’s no surprise that talk of GenAI, investment, and board level buy-in featured at the event co-hosted by Leathwaite and Google Cloud.  

Whilst not a new concept, in the case of data and technology, true representation matters. Firms that elevate their technology leadership to ExCo and board level are more likely to deliver a unified strategy, underpinned by business objectives. The current climate around GenAI and data cannot be looked at through the lens of pure technology transformation but rather an enterprise transformation that is best delivered with a unified message, and clear and succinct goals.

In current environments, it was noted that there is often a feeling of disconnect between boards and technology/data, where strategies don’t always align, and clarity is lacking. Through articulating the overall business growth agenda and having technology and data leaders as part of this strategy development, there is a case for avoiding the disconnect. Boards and ExCo leaders cannot get away from the impact of AI, as with all developments they need to crawl, walk, and then run to see the most sustainable impact.

When looking at enterprise change agendas, the need to focus on the right teams, skills, and partners was also discussed. The importance of partners who can augment teams but also look at the training and development of current capabilities is paramount to broader success. While boards at times are impatient for the delivery of new innovative advanced analytics solutions, the fear often appears further down the organization at the broader team level. The advancements in data technology not only allow for increased efficiencies but can deliver the ‘what if I could?’ scenarios to teams. Education plays a strong role in bringing people on this journey. From prompt engineering to developing scalable use cases there is a role for experimentation and allowing tech to inspire rather than instil fear.

We also discussed the need to find a balance between fairy dust and investing in data platforms and foundational technology. While the innovative use cases and scalable solutions can be flashy and appealing, investment is often needed to uplift the foundations around technology, data quality, and data lineage. With increases in what we can do with our data, the conversation around the role of ethics in data is clearly at the forefront for many leadership teams. The governance and security around both data and customers remains at the heart of much of the innovation and thinking across a broad range of sectors. The power of what we can do is exceedingly intricate, and changing faster than many regulators can keep up, but the current climate has come to trust and expect heightened levels of scrutiny and rigour around ethical AI development.

With technology evolving faster than ever before, embracing the potential while investing in governance and foundational excellence (supported by the right partners) appears to be the strongest way forward.

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