More than half of firms now using generative AI

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The number of organizations using generative AI tools has surged rapidly since March this year, with over half now using the technology in pilot schemes or full production.

In a Gartner poll of more than 1,400 executive leaders exploring their business’s approach to generative AI, 45% stated that they are in a piloting phase and 10% have already implemented generative AI systems.

This marks a significant increase compared to a previous poll from the consultancy in Q1, which found just 15% and 4% of firms were involved in pilots or had implemented solutions.

The poll also revealed a change in the main focus for generative AI investment among respondents.

Almost one-third (30%) identified growth goals as the main business justification for generative AI investment, followed closely by cost optimization (26%) and customer experience (24%), compared to March and April when customer experience was the focus for 38%.

Gartner polled 1,419 executive leaders who took part in a September 2023 webinar on the topic of generative AI risk and cost, and found that organizations are moving past the exploratory stage and shifting toward full adoption.

“Organizations are not just talking about generative AI – they’re investing time, money, and resources to move it forward and drive business outcomes,” said Frances Karamouzis, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner. 

“In fact, 55% of organizations reported increasing investment in generative AI since it surged into the public domain 10 months ago. Generative AI is now on CEOs’ and boards’ agendas as they seek to take advantage of the transformative potential of this technology.”

Though over a quarter of respondents still identified cost optimization as their top concern, Karamouzis said that those with a focus on agility and growth can reap greater benefits from generative AI.

“Many organizations began their AI journey with an overemphasis on cost optimization and efficiency,” said Karamouzis. 

“Savvy companies have moved beyond this to focus initiatives on efficacy, quantifiable value, and business agility in products and services. This ensures visibility, trust, and synergy among stakeholders, and most importantly, alignment to business outcomes.”

Generative AI hype

Generative AI has dominated headlines in the tech sector for a year, as consumer and business interest in tools such as ChatGPT skyrocketed. Some have questioned whether the sector is experiencing a generative AI bubble, and pointed to the technology’s inherent risks.


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Another Gartner report from September found that many firms are complementing generative AI investment with application security solutions to mitigate potential risks such as data leaks. 

More than half(57%) of IT and information security leaders polled by Gartner identified incorrect outputs and model bias as points for particular concern.

In spite of this, the new poll found 78% of respondents believed the benefits of generative AI are greater than its risks, a rise from 68% in the poll conducted in March and April.

Gartner stressed that the poll is not a weighted representation of the market or global picture.

Rory Bathgate
Features and Multimedia Editor

Rory Bathgate is Features and Multimedia Editor at ITPro, overseeing all in-depth content and case studies. He can also be found co-hosting the ITPro Podcast with Jane McCallion, swapping a keyboard for a microphone to discuss the latest learnings with thought leaders from across the tech sector.

In his free time, Rory enjoys photography, video editing, and good science fiction. After graduating from the University of Kent with a BA in English and American Literature, Rory undertook an MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies at King’s College London. He joined ITPro in 2022 as a graduate, following four years in student journalism. You can contact Rory at or on LinkedIn.