Your Generative AI strategy could use a startup’s touch

You’re an IT leader at an organization whose employees are rampantly adopting generative AI. Now what? You require a strategy for efficient, productive, and responsible corporate use.

Although it’s early days, as many as 75% of organizations reported quantified outcomes from GenAI projects, with 26% expecting productivity gains, according to a Dell Technologies survey of IT decision makers. Accordingly, many organizations plan to boost GenAI funding, the survey found.

“The companies that harness GenAI are the companies that we believe are going to disrupt their industries,” said Mindy Cancila, vice president of corporate strategy at Dell Technologies, on a recent CXO Spice webcast.

Consequently, organizations are seeking first-mover or at least fast-follower advantages—not unlike startup businesses looking to disrupt industries.

Your GenAI strategy playbook

Startups, of course, move quickly because their ability to be nimble and strategic determines their long-term viability. So, what can organizations of all sizes think about when creating their GenAI Strategy Playbook? These tips will help you get started.

Be strategic (of course). While startups move with a sense of urgency they need to be very precise in their direction because they often don’t have the funding to recover from big mistakes. Similarly, fear of being late to the GenAI party can spur even cautious IT leaders to rush into implementations. Don’t. Rather, be prescriptive and treat GenAI like any other new solution—with appropriate consideration and care. You’ll want to secure executive sponsorship across the C-suite, with whom you’ll discuss key questions. What are your goals with GenAI? Can it be solved with existing AI or even other tools? What are your metrics for success? Just don’t succumb to hype—or FOMO.

Target specific use cases. Successful startups don’t get caught chasing butterflies; they identify opportunities that will generate the best return. Adopt this mindset as you pinpoint specific problems you want to solve with GenAI and what industries and use cases are most relevant to your business. If your business relies heavily on software engineering, you might consider trying tools that will help support your developers with code creation, such as paired programming. Marketing departments may find ways to make information housed in knowledge-based articles and other content more easily discoverable. Customer service experience often suffers from a variety of ailments. Can you enrich your current digital assistant with GenAI?

Learn from past mistakes. Okay, so you’ve got your use cases pinpointed. Now it’s time to get brutally honest and think about your failed tech implementations. Maybe you deployed applications on public cloud platforms poorly or built homegrown telemetry without establishing the proper parameters. There is no shortage of post-mortems to identify what went wrong and, more importantly, why. Use the learnings to avoid making similar missteps with GenAI. Only you know what those are, so be honest with yourself.

Adopt a product mindset. The relative newness of GenAI makes it exciting, but also presents something of a Wild West dilemma. As you plan, consider acting like a startup developing a product at market scale. Your product must resonate with customers (even if those customers are employees) and create value by solving a problem or filling a need. Achieving product-market fit is critical for a startup because it often determines the success or failure of the company. Build intentionally—like you’re betting the company on it—even if you’re not. Make sure you have the right people, processes, and technology in place. Iterate and move forward, creating repeatable processes where possible.

Build the right guardrails. Treat GenAI with caution, as you would adopting any other new tool. You might choose to bring the AI to your data by running an off-the-shelf or open-source solution in your corporate datacenter, ideally reducing complexity and risk. This is a popular approach, as 80 percent of ITDMs Dell surveyed indicated interest in leveraging the on-premises or hybrid cloud deployment model. Also, make sure the data is pristine, and if you do build a GenAI solution with your own data, make sure you protect your IP. And please—don’t forget to keep a human in the loop to watch for bias creep and other issues.

Grab a competitive advantage

Just as a startup needs to understand its target market and tailor its product to meet their needs, an enterprise must understand how GenAI can align with its goals, processes, and market demands.

The companies that do this? They’ll drive new revenue streams, gain operational excellence, and see increased productivity, said Dell’s Cancila.

But remember: As shiny a new toy as GenAI is, you want to build applications that bring value to employees and customers.

Companies that find product-market fit and that effectively leverage GenAI can gain a competitive edge by being more innovative and responsive to market changes.

Learn how Dell Generative AI Solutions help you bring AI to your data.

1 Generative AI Pulse Survey, Dell Technologies, Sept. 2023

Artificial Intelligence