Gen AI Corporate

Generative AI Shifts CEO Focus to Productivity Over Customer Experience [Chart]

CEOs are excited about generative AI’s place in their business, and a shift in their priorities reflects how much of an impact it will have, according to a recent IBM survey. Nearly half of executives name improving productivity or profitability and modernizing technology as the top business priorities this year, after listing customer experience and product and service innovation as the top-line priorities last year.

Productive AI

Improving productivity or profitability also rose to the top position at 48%, up from 45% while technology modernization skyrocketed to the number two spot at 45% after not even making the priority list last year. Meanwhile, customer experience fell from 58% to 44% as a key priority, while product and service innovation declined from 50% to 38%. In contrast, priorities like marketing, sales and market share growth saw double-digit drops versus 2022. For example, improving marketing and sales fell from 40% to 30% for market share growth.

What it Means

The survey results may be evidence that enterprise CEOs have adopted more of a retrenchment and efficiency mindset rather than a growth mindset amid economic uncertainty. This provides important context around investment plans for emerging technologies like generative AI. And as shown in other charts, two-thirds of corporate board members and investors are urging CEOs to adopt generative AI in some form. That means businesses have begun incorporating generative AI into their enterprise technology budgets and strategies, which puts productivity and tech modernization in the spotlight.