$2.6 to $4.4 trillion per year. That's the estimated added value Generative AI could add across industries, according to a recent report of McKinsey. A dazzling number, but the possibilities of Generative AI are extensive, also for businesses that don't have technology as their core business.
In the realm of advisory services, Generative AI is poised to revolutionize the way consultants operate, enabling them to provide more efficient and tailored solutions to their clients. Industry leaders are now taking the lead by investing billions in Generative AI and large language models (LLM), shaping the future of their work in exciting ways.
Let's take a look at why it matters and what you can do.
The bigger picture
75% of the estimated value of Generative AI falls into 4 categories: customer operations, marketing and sales, software development, and R&D. However, the magnitude of the impact depends on the different industries: for example, risk management & legal and software engineering would be highly impacted in the banking industry, but not so much in construction. The strength of AI lies in its ability to automate and improve simpler but time-consuming tasks, such as reporting, monitoring, and collecting data.
The interest in Generative AI is rising, growing, capturing the attention of both investors and businesses. In its research on companies in the S&P500, The Economist noticed that about 2/3 of the firms are actively hiring people with AI expertise. Moreover, 25% of the venture deals in 2023 by S&P500 firms are associated with AI startups, a significant increase compared to 19% in 2021.
Data-intensive industries, such as insurers and financial services, have been eager to adopt the technology and account for a quarter of the top 100. It's becoming clear that the companies adopting the Generative AI practices in their business have a competitive advantage for investors over the slower adopters. Since the beginning of 2023, the median share price of the top 100 companies adopting AI has risen by 11%, whereas the 100 companies scoring the lowest on AI have barely seen changes in their median share prices.
Generative AI in consultancy and HR
Generative AI can revolutionize the consultancy and human resource business in several ways. Here are some major improvements that can be achieved:
- Enhanced data analysis and insights: Consultants, recruiters, and many other knowledge workers have to process a lot of information. Generative AI can process large volumes of data, extract valuable insights, and identify patterns quickly, enabling you to make more informed decisions.
For example, Generative AI algorithms can analyze employee data, such as performance reviews, engagement surveys, and productivity metrics, to identify patterns and trends, across multiple platforms. Not only does this help consultants to identify areas for improvement and develop targeted interventions, it also allows them to spend more time in higher-value tasks, such as developing tailored strategies and relationship-building.
- Streamlined recruitment and candidate selection: Generative AI can assist and streamline the recruitment process. Algorithms can analyze job requirements, screen resumes, and assess candidate qualifications to identify the best-fit candidates for standard roles. By automating repetitive tasks, consultants and HR professionals can focus on more strategic and human aspects of recruitment, such as candidate engagement and cultural fit assessment.
- Rapid documentation and presentation: Connecting information spread across documents and apps, Generative AI applications can generate slide decks, analysis reports, email replies, summaries, and so on. Consultants can save a lot of time with these first proposals, and will over time need to spend less time on fine-tuning them.
Immediate Gains with AI APIs
One way to swiftly harness the power of Generative AI for specific business use cases is through the Proof-of-Concept (PoC) process, leveraging APIs available from platforms such as OpenAI's ChatGPT or similar large language models (LLMs) from other vendors.
For instance, these could be incorporated into an AI-enhanced internal knowledge management system, capable of rapidly navigating through a myriad of internal documents across diverse apps and platforms. This virtual assistant would save the average knowledge worker, who otherwise spends approximately a fifth of their time seeking internal information or soliciting colleagues for task-related help, an ample amount of time. Furthermore, the adoption of open-source LLMs offers a lower-cost, more private alternative, even though closed-source LLM providers are currently leading the competition. Fast iterations with these Generative AI APIs are crucial to capitalizing on the low-hanging fruits while maintaining low costs.
Unlocking Generative AI Potential through Fine-Tuning
Looking at the long haul, a custom system developed on your proprietary data emerges as the optimal approach. This system would deviate from the standard open-source model trained on public data. Instead, engineers can train and fine-tune the LLM on a unique dataset, curating models specifically designed for a particular industry, domain, and client needs. Such a process results in a more secure, personalized system that provides the following benefits:
- Unparalleled expertise: The fine-tuned LLMs deliver deep, industry-specific insights, facilitating the delivery of highly pertinent and precise advice.
- Tailored solutions: These LLMs produce customized recommendations based on proprietary data to address distinct business challenges.
- Enhanced efficiency and productivity: Automating routine tasks with fine-tuned LLMs liberates consultants for more strategic undertakings, accelerating service delivery.
- Competitive advantage: LLMs, fine-tuned with specialized knowledge and unique insights, furnish consulting firms with a competitive edge, attracting clients in need of bespoke solutions.
- Continual learning and improvement: Ongoing refinement of these LLMs helps businesses stay ahead of the curve, enhancing their knowledge base as the underlying technology rapidly evolves. A case in point is PwC's recent implementation of AI, resulting in 29% efficiency savings in an insurer's claim estimation process through the use of an ML-based solution. This continual improvement is key to unlocking the real potential of Generative AI, keeping your business competitive in a fast-evolving market.
Big players in the consultancy field have turned their eye to these innovations. PwC plans to invest $1B over the next 3 years in Generative AI to transform their way of work and reinventing the business of their clients. Last month, Accenture promised to invest $3B in AI over the next 3 years, and double their AI talent to 80,000 people. Accenture believes strongly in the potential of Generative AI for their clients:
Companies that build a strong foundation of AI by adopting and scaling it now, where the technology is mature and delivers clear value, will be better positioned to reinvent, compete and achieve new levels of performance. Our clients have complex environments, and at a time when the technology is changing rapidly, our deep understanding of ecosystem solutions allows us to help them navigate quickly and cost effectively to make smart decisions.
- Julie Sweet, chair CEO of Accenture
Part of its AI strategy is the AI Navigator for Enterprise, a Generative AI-based platform to help clients define business cases, make decisions, and accelerate responsible AI practices. And accounting firm Deloitte announced a new practice focused on Generative AI and Foundation Models, designed to help clients capture the opportunities of Generative AI. The practice includes a Generative AI Market Incubator with dedicated engineering team, an R&D team, and collaboration with alliance partners to train and tune foundation models.
Generative AI is transforming advisory services, enabling consultants and HR professionals to deliver efficient and personalized solutions. With AI-powered tools, firms can boost their efficiency and cut costs. The significant investments of industry leaders underline the importance of considering these technologies. If you're wondering how Generative AI could benefit your business, we're here to help. Book a call with us to discuss your specific challenges and potential collaboration opportunities.