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7 Lessons in AI Deployment from a CIO Who is Living It

Principal Financial Group's experience with AI, particularly GenAI, offers essential insights for businesses embracing this transformative technology. Check out the full interview with their forward-thinking CIO, Kathy Kay.



Here are seven key takeaways:


  1. Establish Organizational Infrastructure: Building the right teams, including technology professionals and business experts, is crucial to support AI initiatives effectively.

  2. Leverage Cloud Services: Utilize cloud providers for AI capabilities. They offer accessible models and tools that can jumpstart AI projects, especially when they house the data needed for your use case.

  3. Testing and Experimentation: Start with testing and experimentation. Engage a cross-functional team to explore AI's potential, just as Principal Financial Group did. This approach fosters innovation and idea generation.

  4. Data Integrity: Pay close attention to data quality and bias. Data accuracy and fairness are even more critical with generative AI. Ensuring data integrity is key to ethical and effective AI usage.

  5. Flexibility and Adaptation: Avoid imposing strict governance early on. Be flexible and willing to adapt as you learn from AI experiments. This approach encourages creativity and problem-solving.

  6. Prioritize Broad Business Impact: Initially, prioritize AI ideas with broad business applications. Focus on solutions that can benefit multiple aspects of your organization. (My doctoral research surfaced that prioritization based on business value creation was essential - no “toy” AI!)

  7. Continuous Learning and Adjustment: AI strategies should evolve over time. Regularly reassess and adjust your approach based on what you learn from AI implementations.


Bonus Tip - I made the graphic for this post literally in seconds (from my phone) using Microsoft Designer’s super user friendly GenAI-powered capability!


Your AI strategy is a dynamic force for change. By applying these lessons, you’ll not only navigate the AI landscape more effectively but also drive innovation and growth. Stay curious, stay agile, and let AI empower your business!

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