Forrester: Over The Next Decade, Generative AI Will Become the Fulcrum That Accelerates Business Growth
According to Forrester, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based market researcher, firms that actively harness generative AI (genAI) to enhance experiences, offerings, and productivity will realize outsized growth and will outpace their competition. Between July and September 2023, the number of enterprises that are in the experimentation and expansion stages of implementing genAI jumped from 62% to 71%, representing one of the fastest mass adoption rates of a new technology in the enterprise.
To harness the full potential of genAI, Forrester recommends that companies should make trust an intrinsic part of their enterprise’s genAI foundation. Companies that help their employees and customers understand the nuances of privacy and security will empower their users to be more confident and innovative in their use of this technology.
The firm also recommends that its clients stay focused on practical, measurable use cases. GenAI use cases most often involve the augmentation or transformation of an existing product, service, or business process. In initial prototypes and use cases, select projects that lean toward employee-facing or offline generation, as opposed to real-time generation with a chatbot.
To harness genAI successfully, Forrester recommends that both employees and leaders need to upskill continually. These include technical as well as soft skills to communicate the impact of genAI transparently and openly with employees.
To create differentiation, organizations should rely on their own business data to build genAI models and applications.
“Generative AI has the power to be as impactful as some of the most transformative technologies of our time,” said Srividya Sridharan, VP and group research director at Forrester. “The mass adoption of generative AI has transformed customer and employee interactions and expectations. As a result, genAI has catapulted AI initiatives from ‘nice-to-haves’ to the basis for competitive roadmaps.”
Additional details are available to Forrester clients in the company’s Generative AI Advantage report.
Generative AI has emerged as one of the most far-reaching developments of our time. Channel partners are advised to fully explore the related opportunities.
Accenture Launches Specialized Services to Help Companies Customize and Manage Foundation Models
Accenture has rolled out a set of new services designed to help companies customize and scale the value of generative AI.
“Generative AI is accelerating reinvention and delivering value to our clients’ businesses faster,” said Julie Sweet, chair and CEO of Accenture. “In order to move from experimentation to scaled implementation, our clients need a strong data and AI foundation, which is underpinned by large language models that are tailored to meet their specific business needs, along with the training needed for their people to use and manage those models. Our new foundation model customization services help our clients accelerate access and contextualize enterprise data to drive tangible value from generative AI.”
According to a recent Accenture’s survey: 74% of the C-suite plan to increase their AI-related spending in 2024, up from 50% in the previous year, as companies move from proof of concept to customizing foundation models with proprietary data.
This new set of Accenture gen AI services includes a proprietary gen AI model “switchboard,” customization techniques, model managed services and specialized training programs.
A proprietary “switchboard” allows a user to select a combination of models to address the business context or based on factors, such as cost or accuracy. For example, one of the largest entertainment companies is currently testing the switchboard to compare how the same prompt would be interpreted by different models and how they perform before deciding on which to use. The initiative also develops skills and capabilities to help clients effectively use and manage LLMs, including comprehensive training and certification programs.
“Companies that want to harness the power of generative AI will need an array of specialized models,” added Karthik Narain, group chief executive at Accenture Technology. “Our switchboard is designed to enable companies to do this at scale while managing costs and carbon footprint, aligning the right models to the business context. Our set of customization services can help companies contextualize AI models for their unique needs, transforming every link in their value chain.”
Accenture is collaborating with the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI, and has created its Foundation Model Scholar Program to provide certifications related to large-language model skills. Accenture has more than 1,450 pending and issued patents in AI, including proprietary capabilities in generative AI, such as fine-tuning, prompt engineering and model architecture.
The ability to customize generative AI models will enable partners to enhance work across the value chain, further positioning them for success in this rapidly emerging field.
Barracuda Unveils New Global Partner Program
Barracuda Networks, a Campbell, California-based IT security company, has announced the launch of its new global partner program, dubbed the “Barracuda Partner Success Program.”
The new program supports partners across multiple routes to market, namely resale, MSP, and marketplaces. Partners who resell Barracuda solutions will be recognized for their Barracuda business as a whole, regardless of the route to market, and they will be provided with benefits and resources based on their total sales contribution.
The company is also introducing a certification for customer success as part of a drive to improve customer loyalty, customer satisfaction, and increased sales. New enablement tracks have also been added.
“We are seeing an increasing number of resellers either becoming hybrid or establishing a hybrid business model engaging with Barracuda for resale, managed services, and procurement through marketplaces,” said Jason Beal, Vice President of Worldwide Partner Ecosystems. “Through the Barracuda Partner Success Program, Barracuda resellers, for example, will gain access to sales and marketing enablement with resources showcasing how hyperscalers can provide their customers with joint solutions built for today’s modern IT environments.”
Barracuda also intends to refresh its Premier, Preferred, Authorized, and Affiliate levels early next year.
The upgrades are ultimately intended to enhance partner agility in catering to the needs of customers in terms of how they consume, procure, and deliver technology solutions.