AI will unlock value from every business function - Ascendion

AI will unlock value from every business function

Harness the bots to work better, faster, and cheaper

Ascendion December 11, 2023


HFS Research

Whether a retailer, bank, healthcare company, or high-tech giant, every enterprise has functions that make the business an actual business. When we asked our market leaders if generative AI (GenAI) would impact business functions soon-within the next 12 to 18 months-the answer was yes.

The answer remained yes for almost every function we inquired about (see Exhibit 1). Leaders predict the power of bots will meaningfully impact pretty much every function, starting at the task level. Only legal, HR, R&D, and sourcing seemed even slightly immune (in the very near term). Every other function was ranked 1-3 for impact by a significant chunk of leaders-more than 20% in each case.


GenAI won’t fix everything, but it is going to disrupt most processes-in a good way

GenAI will not fix all your problems, but early indications are that it can help extract value from the kinds of work nearly every company must perform to be a company.

Our findings suggest that GenAI will disrupt (in a good way) some of the most complex and traditionally human-only work processes more quickly and comprehensively than any other technology.

To be done well, customer service, sales, and strategy require a high level of empathy, complex abstraction, problem-solving, and communication. These are functions that computers have traditionally been pretty terrible at supporting (e.g., “Press one for English.” and “Please listen to the entire 30-minute menu as our options have been randomized.”). Those days are fading in the distance as AI matures.

“There is a force multiplication now for copywriters, software developers, and customer service representatives. For the first time in industrial history, halfway decent chatbots are available, and they are trained on domain-specific knowledge. I believe areas such as market intelligence and strategic planning are also poised for drastic improvements, which in turn can increase quality in executive decision making.” – Dr. Armen Kherlopian, CEO and Partner, Covenant Venture Capital


The Bottom Line: Memento robota when reimagining every business function to unlock GenAI value.

The ancient Stoics remind us that death is always around the corner, memento mori. Leaders today should memento robota, remember the robots, when reimagining work, and help their teams do the same.

It’s up to leaders to help teams grasp the potential available by working with the bots, not with a smash-the-bots Luddite 2.0 stance. That didn’t work well for Ned Ludd and his fellow textile workers, and it won’t work today.

“Those who master the technology, who understand the models, who get their digital core established because you need a strong digital core data foundation to benefit from generative AI-those who are first movers in those ways will have a sustainable advantage going forward. That doesn’t mean jobs are going to go away, but it means jobs will change substantially, and you’ll see that in areas such as customer care and customer service.” – Cliff Justice, Partner, US Leader, Enterprise Innovation, KPMG

Our data suggests that those who learn to use the new tools will have plenty to do and plenty of fun doing it. But our data also shows that GenAI will reshape every business function (i.e., our jobs!), so it’s time to start learning and applying “the new steam engine” to every corporate function to mine every sales, customer care, and back-office process for gold.


About this research

Your Generative Enterprise™ playbook for the future is an HFS Research and Ascendion research program based on 20+ in-depth interviews and a survey with more than 100 C-suite leaders and practitioners with first-hand experience implementing GenAI in organizations.

Watch out for more, and join us on the journey at Ascendion and HFS Research to access all our research findings.

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