A recent study by Ernst & Young (EY) has found that 89% of US workers surveyed believe that adopting emerging technologies would be beneficial to their companies. However, 59% of respondents said their senior leadership was slow to embrace these technologies. The study surveyed over 1,000 US employees regarding 12 emerging technologies, including AI, machine learning (ML), and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) among others.
Faisal Alam, EY Americas Consulting Emerging Technology Leader, stated that “Though leaders acknowledge how new technologies can transform their business, they need to also be aware of employee perceptions around the slow pace of adoption, and the barriers and risks that could undermine efforts.” Privacy and cybersecurity are among the concerns that prevent leadership from adopting newer, advanced technologies more quickly.
Major companies such as Apple, Verizon, JPMorgan Chase, and Amazon have restricted one of the most popular emerging technologies, ChatGPT, from their internal networks due to data privacy concerns. This is an example of how concerns around privacy and cybersecurity can hinder the adoption of emerging technologies.
The survey also found that differing views on emerging technologies can be attributed to generational gaps. GenZ and Millennial employees are more likely than previous generations to use generative AI to draft emails. However, they are also the two generational groups most likely to view their senior leadership as not valuing adopting emerging technology.
The study highlights the potential benefits of emerging technologies such as generative AI, which has the potential to transform the workplace in a way that improves productivity and optimizes workflows, something many workers want. However, for that to happen, senior leaders first have to enable these technologies.
It is important for leaders to acknowledge the potential of emerging technologies and work to address concerns around privacy and cybersecurity. By doing so, they can help to ensure that their organizations can benefit from the many advantages that these technologies offer.