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Gartner Says CIOs Must Prioritize Their AI Ambition and AI-Ready Scenarios for Next 12-24 Months

Analysts Explore How Generative AI is Shifting How People and Machines Interact During Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2023, October 16-19

Artificial intelligence (AI) – especially the leap in generative AI (GenAI) – is part of a larger shift in how humans and machines interact, according to Gartner, Inc. This shift provides two key focus areas for CIOs and IT executives as AI becomes an enterprise initiative, not just an IT initiative.

“GenAI is not just a technology or just a business trend. It is a profound shift in how humans and machines interact,” said Mary Mesaglio, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner. “We are moving from what machines can do for us to what machines can be for us. Machines are evolving from being our tools to becoming our teammates. Gartner predicts that by 2025, GenAI will be a workforce partner for 90% of companies worldwide.”

“CIOs have a major role in how they shape AI and how AI shapes us,” said Don Scheibenreif, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner. “According to recent Gartner surveys of CEOs, CIOs are their number one choice to unlock the value of GenAI.”

During the opening keynote of Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo, which is taking place here through Thursday, Gartner analysts told the audience of over 8,000 CIOs and IT executives to prioritize two areas to unleash the possibility of AI over the next 12-24 months – decide their AI Ambition and become AI-Ready.

Decide Your AI Ambition

There are two flavors of AI:

  • Everyday AI is focused on productivity. The machine is a productivity partner. It enables workers to do what they already do faster and more efficiently. Currently, 77% of CIOs and technology leaders worldwide are focused on the opportunities of everyday AI. “It is important to note that everyday AI will go from dazzling to ordinary with outrageous speed,” said Mesaglio. “Everyone will have access to the same tools, and it will not provide a sustainable competitive advantage. Everyday AI is the new table stakes.”
  • Game-changing AI is focused primarily on creativity. “It doesn’t just make us faster or better. Either it creates new results, via AI-enabled products and services; or it creates new ways to create new results, such as with AI-enabled new core capabilities. With game-changing AI, machines will disrupt business models and entire industries,” said Mesaglio.

“More and more AI will be jointly delivered by IT and the wider enterprise,” said Scheibenreif. “To succeed, the whole executive team must be engaged. This provides a tremendous opportunity for CIOs to make a difference.”

CIOs can help their CEO and CxO peers cut through AI complexity and define their organization’s AI ambition by examining the opportunities and risks of using GenAI in four areas: the back office, the front office, new products and services, and new core capabilities (See Figure 1).

Be AI-Ready

“As AI continues transforming the relationship between humans and machines, CIOs must actively shape the nature of this change,” said Scheibenreif. “In this new era of human-machine interaction, there will be many unforeseen consequences.”

“A technology decision is not just a technology decision anymore. It is a technology, economic, social and ethical decision all at once,” said Mesaglio. “To navigate decisions about AI in their organization, CIOs and IT leaders need lighthouse principles — a vision for AI that lights the way and says what kind of human-machine relationships they will and will not accept.”

However, few organizations have established lighthouse principles or even a clear vision for AI. A Gartner survey in June 2023 of 606 CIOs and technology leaders found that only 9% of organizations have an AI vision statement in place, and more than one-third of respondents had no plans to create an AI vision statement.

To facilitate swift and safe adoption of generative AI in the next 12 months, organizations must do three things:

  • Establish AI-ready principles: Lighthouse principles must align with the values of the organization. The organization’s values must be the guiding light for navigating the unknowns of how humans and machines will interact.
  • Make data AI-ready: For data to be AI-ready, it must meet five criteria. It is secure, enriched, fair, accurate and is governed by the lighthouse principles.
  • Implement AI-ready security: For every positive use of AI, someone is putting that same technology to negative use. This is the dark side of AI. CIOs should prepare for new attack vectors and work with the executive team to create an acceptable use policy for public generative AI solutions.

“The era of AI-powered business will lead to unintended consequences without advance planning. CIOs need a way to light the way forward, even when everything seems new or murky,” said Scheibenreif. “To safely harness this disruption, CIOs must work with executive leaders to define their ambitions for using everyday AI and game-changing AI, and to establish AI-ready principles, data and security.”

About Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo

Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo is the world's most important gathering for CIOs and other IT executives. IT executives rely on these conferences to learn how to unleash the possibility of the technology, insights and trends shaping the future of IT and business. Follow news, photos and video coming from Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo on the Gartner Newsroom, on X using #GartnerSYM, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Upcoming dates and locations for Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo include:

November 6-9 | Barcelona, Spain

November 13-15 | Tokyo, Japan

November 28-30 | Kochi, India

About Gartner for Information Technology Executives

Gartner for Information Technology Executives provides actionable, objective insight to CIOs and IT leaders to help them drive their organizations through digital transformation and lead business growth. Additional information is available at

Follow news and updates from Gartner for IT Executives on X and LinkedIn using #GartnerIT. Visit the IT Newsroom for more information and insights.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) delivers actionable, objective insight that drives smarter decisions and stronger performance on an organization’s mission-critical priorities. To learn more, visit

AI, especially the leap in generative AI, is part of a larger shift in how humans and machines interact, according to @Gartner_inc. Read more here.


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