AI in the corner office: Leaders have to increase focus on training and ethics, shows survey

AI in the corner office: Leaders have to increase focus on training and ethics, shows survey

Leaders across companies are trying to find an answer to a question: what should their strategy be to leverage AI?
The search for this answer becomes even more important with a recent LinkedIn saying there has been 2.5 times more job posts mentioning AI or generative AI in India in the last two years, and a majority (98%) of professionals in India are excited to use AI at work.A recent survey on the state of generative AI conducted by ISACA — a global community helping individuals and organisations in their pursuit of digital trust — shows that over 30% of organisations in Asia do not have the policies required for generative AI. The survey covers more than 2,300 digital professionals, including 660 in Asia, working in cybersecurity, IT audit, governance and privacy.

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It shows 32% of Asian respondents saying their companies allow the use of generative AI. Only 11% say a policy for generative AI is in place; 30% say there is no such plan. However, 42% are already using generative AI; 30% are not sure of it at the moment.

What does it mean for leaders?

These findings can give business leaders some insights on the way forward with generative AI.“Leaders must demonstrate a hunger for curiosity and continuous learning to navigate the amazing opportunities with all the complexities of an AI-driven world,” says Tiger Tyagarajan, President and CEO, Genpact. “It’s essential for CEOs to approach generative AI with a deep understanding of its true long-term potential to change the way we all work and live and the potential challenges, including data management, information security, ethical data use, creation of responsible gen-AI frameworks, new roles, and the availability of technical skills to drive meaningful impact both internally and for clients.”

Chief executive officers should also keep an eye out to spot the trends in generative AI, try to understand how these can help the organisation and move quickly to make use of such trends.

Uday Chawla, a Managing Partner at Transearch, says, “Modern leaders must remain responsive to the influence of AI. With constant disruptions and the emergence of new tools and services on a daily basis, it is essential to continually assess the landscape, recognise these disruptions, and then formulate a strategic position. The ability to prepare for change only materialises when opportunities are identified and when you align with them to instigate transformation. CEOs recognise that becoming AI-smart is not just about technology; it is also a cultural shift. Consequently, they must adopt a more dynamic approach, creating systems that can adapt to the evolving business environment or constructing new systems that facilitate adaptability.”

How are teams using generative AI?

The ISACA survey says that employees based in Asia are using generative AI in the following ways:

  • Create written content (67%)
  • Increase productivity (41%)
  • Customer service (such as chat box) (30%)
  • Automate repetitive tasks (28%)
  • Improve decision making (23%)

But there is a need for more training. The survey says just 5% of respondents’ organisations are providing AI training to all staff. As many as 52% say no AI training is provided even to teams directly impacted by AI. Only 23% say they have a high degree of familiarity with generative AI.

“AI training and education is imperative for digital trust professionals, not only to be able to understand and successfully leverage the technology, but to also be fully aware of the risks involved,” says RV Raghu, ISACA India Ambassador and director of Versatilist Consulting India Pvt Ltd. “As quickly as AI has evolved, so have the ways that the technology can be misused, misinterpreted or abused. And professionals need to have the knowledge and skills to guide their organisations toward safe, ethical and responsible AI use.”

Tyagarajan says Genpact continuously trains its people on future skills such as data analytics, AI and generative AI. “Over the next three years, we plan to invest approximately $600 million in AI, including investments in our own innovation and R&D teams, strategic acquisitions and partnerships, client co-innovation programs, data, tech and AI skills training and creating deep expert groups — to continue driving sustained growth and value creation.”

The poll shows that 29% feel enough attention is not being given to ethical standards for AI implementation. Twenty-five percent of their organisations consider managing AI risks an immediate priority, 31% say it is a longer-term priority, and 29% say their organisations do not have plans to consider AI risk at the moment.

Elaborating on the situation, Jason Lau, ISACA board director and CISO at, says, “Employees are not waiting for permission to explore and leverage generative AI to bring value to their work, and it is clear that their organisations need to catch up in providing policies, guidance and training to ensure the technology is used appropriately and ethically. With greater alignment between employers and their staff around generative AI, organisations will be able to drive increased understanding of the technology among their teams, gain further benefit from AI, and better protect themselves from related risk.”

Respondents in Asia believe that security (52%), IT operations (46%), risk team (44%) and compliance team (42 26%) are responsible for the safe deployment of AI. Despite the uncertainty and risk surrounding AI, 84% say it will have a positive or neutral impact on their organisations, adds the survey.

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Author: Shirley