Tech Leaders Share Success Factors for AI Adoption

Perspectives from our business conversations at THE PLAYERS® Championship

McKinsey Senior Partner Kabir Ahuja shares his perspective on implementing AI during a panel discussion hosted by Comcast Business at THE PLAYERS Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.

As AI actively transforms the way we work across industries, it’s imperative for business leaders to move beyond thinking about AI as a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, the focus must now be on how AI specifically supports their business objectives and, further, on how to harness these next-gen technologies to help create competitive advantages. 

According to research by PwC, 73% of US companies have implemented AI in some parts of their business and 54% are using GenAI in some fashion. That means enterprises are well on their AI journeys, but still have opportunities to grow adoption rates.  

To really move the needle, businesses should regard their AI programs not as a monolithic technology, but rather, as diversified initiatives that can help solve a variety of business problems in unique ways.

First, AI should be viewed as a means for productivity gains in specific tasks and functions, rather than a replacement for an entire role. Second, leaders should identify the specific problem they can solve with an AI model before implementing it. Third, businesses must be selective in hiring the correct talent—the right talent—with a diverse set of educational and cultural backgrounds.

These themes and more were discussed amongst advisors, investors, CIOs, and other business leaders during a series of panel discussions hosted by Comcast Business at THE PLAYERS® Championship. 

In a panel on how AI will disrupt “business as usual,” Kabir Ahuja, Senior Partner at McKinsey, described AI’s impact on business and society as “an activity-based view of the world, not a role-based view of the world. AI is not going to replace people.”

Ahuja added that AI-based technology alone is not going to revolutionize business. Instead, six things are needed to achieve greater implementation: strategy- and value-identification, talent, operating model, data, technology, and, finally, a scaling strategy.

Rick Rioboli, EVP and CTO of Comcast, indicated that Comcast has found tremendous value in being able to look at AI as a new basket of capabilities, rather than “a solution looking for a problem.” Rioboli says his team held a series of AI workshops to align with various groups on a collective set of desired business outcomes, before exploring whether next-gen technologies were the correct—or even suitable—tools to help achieve their goals. 

Through this perspective, Rioboli says he also recognizes that having top talent with skills that translate across various functions is an asset that AI cannot supplant.

Mike Crisafulli, CIO of Comcast, also shared at THE PLAYERS that the scale of the Comcast organization allows its technical talent so much opportunity to have different impacts across the business. Crisafulli says he’s proud that Comcast is able to leverage its culture, including collaboration, teaming, connecting on the purpose, working on diverse things, to attract people with exceptional EQ and IQ. Even the role of the CIO nowadays demands a leader who is adaptable, a good listener, and an effective communicator, both with internal teams and external stakeholders.

Looking ahead, as AI’s transformative role in business and society continues to take hold, businesses should stay focused on their core goals of creating business value, building really great customer experiences, and retaining top talent in all roles. Those that are able to thoughtfully use AI to enhance and evolve these efforts will have a competitive advantage over those that do not.

Experts recommend identifying core business needs before spinning up AI efforts.

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