The JEGI CLARITY team had the privilege of co-producing the annual Outsell Signature Event, which recently took place at the Four Seasons Hotel, in Hampshire, UK.
The conference is a seminal event for senior leaders in the data and information industry. It provides a platform for discussing key trends and their implications for the industry, while providing guests with an opportunity to make valuable connections within the sector. Full agenda and speaker list can be found here.
Generative AI for some but not necessarily for all
Throughout the event, there was an acknowledgement that your business model, offering and client base will likely drive what stage you are at in the ‘AI journey’. Some have been using AI for decades, while others are just beginning to explore its potential.
Understanding whether AI will be focused internally in driving efficiencies or speed to market, or focused externally, for example on enhancing product solutions will be a key part of determining the extent to which AI is deployed into your business.
For some businesses, the use of generative AI might be excessive and unnecessary to attain their goals. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of your objectives before determining whether these tools will genuinely contribute to reaching them, and many organizations are grappling with understanding this.
Many leaders in the room cautioned against rapid investment into AI without a framework covering a true understanding of your organization’s data and processes, your clients’ view and use of AI and the AI development approach, including ROI at each stage.
The importance of organizational buy-in
The transition to leveraging AI needs to be led by executive and senior management, but with a measured approach of proof testing, reviewing, evolving, and continually verifying.
Organizational buy-in is viewed as critical even at the testing stage so people and teams across the organization understand what the AI can potentially deliver, and what the aims and benefits are. Without this, it will be very difficult to meaningfully leverage AI.
It was noted that the regulatory framework around AI must catch up with the rapid pace of the technology, inevitability leading to a growing industry of regulations and policies. How the regulatory environment intersects with an individual business, and the organization, will be critical and at the moment, this intersection is unclear.
More than a hype bubble
What was resounding across the two days was the profound impact of AI on the knowledge economy. Attendees were aware that change is coming and fast, and that although there were parameters to establish how the industry integrates AI into it, the opportunities it presents are impossible and dangerous to ignore.
Indeed, the prevailing theme of the event reflected what we are hearing across our industry, and many others: how AI, and specifically the latest wave of generative technologies, can be augmented into businesses. There is a clear recognition, however, that while there are potential benefits, how these can be achieved is a work in progress for many.
Are we ready?
Considerable debate centered on some of the perceived risks as well. IP infringement, plagiarism, erosion of jobs, bias; all areas that need monitoring and care. The importance of clear policies and compliance frameworks both internally and externally underpinned by an understanding of the technology will be crucial for all businesses in the sector and beyond.
The M&A viewpoint
Wilma Jordan, Founder and CEO, North America at JEGI CLARITY presented an insightful overview of the M&A marketplace offering projections for the future in light of economic outlook, high interest rates and pressure on cash and profits.
Describing green shoots appearing from those businesses that have real understanding of the use of data, she also outlined how AI is already driving a wave of investment that will continue to gather pace in the next 12 months.
With 2023 already a record year for investment in generative AI start-ups, with equity funding estimated to have reached $14.1 billion*, there is no doubt that those companies within the AI arena will continue to power this pace.
If you would like to receive a copy of our presentation on the M&A viewpoint, please contact us.