Top 5 Things to Consider Before Onboarding GenAI

September 22, 2023 | What's Hot | 6 min read

Every leadership team’s worst fear is integrating a tool that makes it harder for employees to do their jobs. Technology tools are, at their core, meant to help automate existing processes and make it easier for individual contributors to thrive. This is the same for artificial intelligence (AI) tools.

We know that different variations of GenAI are and or will be embedded into our daily tasks and that it will aid our organizations. However, it is equally important not to implement a new tool without the proper research and preparation to understand how it is built and how it will be used within your organization.

Launching a new technology tool without a clear plan can lead to a lot of growing pains, accidental misuse, and fewer successful outcomes. It’s essential to analyze your organization's needs, review your technical capabilities, and assess the ability of your team to effectively use the new technology, all while staying ethical and responsible.

Now how do you apply this to GenAI? We’ve narrowed down five things to consider before onboarding GenAI into your organization's workflow.

1. Understand Your Organization’s Needs and Goals

Implementing any new GenAI tool can be a resource-intensive process, involving significant time, money, and personnel. By pinpointing the exact ways your organization plans to utilize this new tool, you can formulate a well-defined strategy tailored to achieve your organization’s objectives. Think about any current strains on your existing systems or places where GenAI could streamline everyday tasks.

Clear goals allow you to set key performance indicators (KPIs) for your tool implementation. These KPIs help measure the effects of the tools and provide insights into necessary adjustments or improvements. With defined KPIs, your business is better equipped to analyze the products in the market and pick the one that suits your specific objectives.

The process of defining needs, challenges, and goals not only ensures seamless integration of your GenAI tool of choice but also serves as a roadmap to guide your implementation, measure its effectiveness, and maximize its value to your organization.

Questions to consider:

  • How does this technology align with the organization’s overall business goals and objectives?
  • What specific problems or challenges will this technology help address?
  • Will it provide a competitive advantage or enhance customer experience?

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2. Assess Technical Readiness

Once you’ve identified your organization’s needs and goals, you need to then assess your organization’s technical readiness. This assessment ensures that your existing infrastructure can support new technologies and identifies any gaps that need to be addressed.

Evaluate whether your existing hardware, software, and IT infrastructure are compatible with the tools you're considering. Without this crucial step, you risk investing in AI tools that may not integrate well with your current systems, leading to operational inefficiencies, wasted resources, and potential abandonment of the tool.

Moreover, understanding your technical readiness aids in strategic planning, helps set realistic expectations, and provides a guide for seamless integration of new GenAI tools, ultimately setting the stage for maximum return on investment.

Questions to consider:

  • Does the new technology integrate seamlessly with existing tools and systems?
  • Will there be any compatibility issues with other software or hardware in your organization’s ecosystem?
  • Does your organization have the necessary skills and talent for this implementation?

3. Selecting the Right GenAI Tool

Next is selecting the right tool to fit your defined needs. Fortunately, in the ever-evolving business climate, there are new GenAI tools being created every day.

While these advancements are exciting, not every tool is a fit for every organization. When considering what tool to implement, it’s imperative that your organization does its research. Take time to compare the different GenAI tools, frameworks and platforms available in the market. Explore the various features and advantages each tool provides to understand how they can contribute to attaining your business objectives. Take into account elements like ease of integration, options for customization, scalability potential, customer support and cost.

This upfront research can prevent unnecessary costs, save time, enhance operational efficiency, and significantly contribute to the successful adoption and implementation of any GenAI tool.

Questions to consider:

  • Has your organization thoroughly researched and evaluated potential vendors' solutions?
  • What is the reputation and track record of the vendor?
  • Are there references or case studies from other organizations that have successfully implemented the same technology?

4. Ethical and Responsible Implementation

Arguably one of the more important factors when onboarding GenAI is your organization's ethical and responsible use of it. Understanding ethical implications is paramount as AI use and decisions can significantly impact individuals and your organization. Establishing an ethical framework provides guidance on how AI should be used responsibly and ethically, respecting human rights, privacy, and fairness, to name a few.

Your organization will also want to take steps to identify and mitigate biases in your AI systems. A common use for AI is to screen resumes, so prioritizing regular auditing and evaluation of your tools for potential bias, particularly with regard to race, gender, or other protected attributes. Human oversight and accountability are crucial to ensure that humans remain in control of AI systems and are held accountable for their outcomes.

Lastly, continuous education and training to ensure that employees stay up to date with AI developments and use the technology effectively and ethically. These considerations help ensure that AI is used in a way that benefits the organization while also respecting ethical norms.

Questions to consider:

  • What data set is the GenAI tool trained on? How does the vendor mitigate the risks of that data set?
  • How is bias mitigated in the GenAI tool? Are there public facing accountability metrics the vendor is accountable to?
  • How will the new technology handle and store sensitive data? What security measures are in place?
  • Does the technology comply with relevant data protection regulations and industry standards?
  • Are there any potential intellectual property or licensing issues to address?

5. Employee Training & Adoption

Training your team to proficiently and securely utilize GenAI tools is paramount to any successful implementation. Proper training ensures that your team understands the potential of these tools while adhering to best practices, safeguarding data and information integrity, and minimizing risks.

This means providing policies and resources to help users become proficient in interacting with GenAI models. Training can cover practical usage scenarios, enabling users to effectively navigate and operate the tool. Additionally, instruction on data input requirements, output interpretations, and troubleshooting should be provided. Given the importance of data security, training must emphasize proper data handling, encryption protocols, and compliance with privacy regulations.

Through comprehensive training, your team will be well-equipped to harness the capabilities of the GenAI tool and ensure a smooth adoption process and guarantee that GenAI technologies are properly utilized.

Questions to consider:

  • How will you ensure that employees are adequately trained to use the new technology effectively?
  • What strategies will you employ to encourage user adoption and overcome potential resistance to change?
  • Are there user-friendly interfaces and support resources available?

Embracing GenAI tools with a thoughtful and strategic approach holds immense promise for organizations. By harnessing the power of AI, businesses can become more efficient, better integrate data-driven insights and employ innovative solutions. The judicious integration of GenAI can streamline operations, enhance decision-making and truly catalyze your organization's growth. Through effective preparation, your organization can preempt obstacles during the implementation process and successfully achieve your objectives with ease.