Ready to responsibly make the most of AI?

AI readiness is not really about technology

We need to build on everything we have learnt about digital transformation, taking the best forward for a new era of continual change powered by AI.

The democratisation of artificial intelligence (AI) with tools such as ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot creates unprecedented opportunities for organisations to innovate and transform through continual change. The accessibility of new forms of AI ultimately gives end users more power, requiring a shift in mindset from digital technology as the source of transformation.

Change is only going to keep accelerating as AI becomes more pervasive. And we will continue to deal with issues never faced before. Avanade research of 3000+ business and IT professionals found that 95% of employees are enthusiastic about the potential of AI. However, while employees are generally optimistic about AI and confident in their organisation's technical capabilities, less than half say their organisation has adequate human capital, workforce planning, and responsible AI policies in place. That means huge upskilling and a renewed focus on digital literacy will be needed. How can we guard against another wave of digital exclusion?

Our global research indicates that leaders have a lot of work to do to help their organisations ready their people, processes and platforms for AI through continual change. A new transformation approach is needed.

AI Readiness: The need is now

Avanade’s research shows that 92% of organisations will need to shift to an AI-first operating model by the end of 2024 to keep pace with competitors. Beyond efficiency gains, a quarter of the 3000+ business and IT professionals we spoke to expect that the primary impact of AI on their jobs will be to inspire creative ideas and innovation. This underscores the opportunity for organisations to not only transform their operating models, but also their purpose and value propositions. Additionally, more employee innovation creates the potential to unlock more value from existing cloud, data, and security investments.

While there will always be a temptation to rush to production, the path to value from AI is not just about technology. Organisations also need to proactively ready their people and processes to realise outcomes from AI-powered transformation through continual change. This requires both a clear AI strategy and a robust responsible AI framework informed by an organisation’s vision and values.

There is an urgency to adopt AI

Organisations feel pressured to adopt AI to stay competitive and boost creativity and innovation. However, only a third of CEOs are fully confident in the readiness of their leaders to embrace AI.

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AI changes the game for responsible business

Nearly 80% of employees anticipate AI to impact up to 20 hours of their work week by 2024. Similarly, 85% believe customers are ready for AI-driven interactions. But do organisations have responsible AI safeguards in place?

A durable and scalable framework for responsible AI helps organisations assess and deal with new AI risks – whether caused by technology platforms, processes or people. Establishing a responsible AI framework also creates an opportunity to bring corporate values to life in new ways and to enshrine principles and behaviours that tangibly reflect those values in AI governance processes. However, only 48% of organisations have implemented a complete set of guidelines and policies for responsible AI.

There is no end point to AI readiness

AI readiness is an ongoing journey. Our research highlights mixed levels of confidence in the current readiness of leaders to embrace AI. For example, while 58% of CFOs are highly confident in their leadership’s understanding of generative AI and its governance needs, only 36% of CEOs have the same level of confidence.

This should not be a surprise. We’re at the very beginning of an era where AI will unlock the potential for every individual to do more and be their best. Microsoft is leading the way with AI technologies that open new possibilities for industries and experiences to be reimagined. However, the democratisation of AI will continue to bring unprecedented challenges for organisations to navigate.

Leaders need to be comfortable with not knowing everything about AI and its implications – on socio-political conditions, regulations, ethics, ways of working, etc. – yet it is possible to predictably realise business outcomes through a process of experimentation, readiness and scaling. Insights from our research and experience working with hundreds of clients globally emphasise some key principles to help organisations drive more value from their Microsoft investments now, and to ready their people, processes and platforms for transformation with AI through continual change.

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AI Readiness: Making it real



A federated approach that applies agile and innovation factory model methods to promote cross-functional experimentation with AI and accelerate clarification of business cases. For example, one of the world’s leading prestige automotive makers turned to Avanade to help it embrace people-first principles and experiment with AI to prioritise use cases that will unlock the full potential of the knowledge of its employees.



Frequent assessment of the readiness of employees, customers, and ecosystem partners for AI to prioritise people-first actions that enable them to adapt and evolve. One of Avanade’s clients wanted to use AI to improve its employee and client experiences, while also realising operational efficiencies and cost savings. We helped the global tax and advisory firm to assess the readiness of its people, processes and platforms for AI and to produce a roadmap of practical actions to catalyse transformation.



A durable governance and responsible AI framework to embed ethics, inclusion and security supports the sustainable scaling and realisation of value from AI through continual change. We have worked with a large financial services organisation to scale generative AI across its legal processes and customer-facing teams within a responsible AI framework, significantly reducing response times and increasing sales conversions that are expected to ultimately yield millions of dollars of value each year.

To drive value from AI, you need to know your why

A clear “north star” and robust responsible AI framework are necessary to guide innovation of new products and services with AI, but also to unlock more value from existing investments in cloud, data and security.

To prioritise actions to ready people, processes and platforms for AI, leaders should consider factors including:

  • Has your organisation’s business strategy been updated to account for predicted generative AI growth and impact?
  • Are you confident that the people-focused processes and roles that will be impacted by generative AI are clearly understood in your organisation?
  • How confident are you that leaders in your organisation understand and are inspired by generative AI and its governance needs?
  • How much support do you think will be required to onboard/train workers to make the most of and innovate with generative AI tools, like Microsoft 365 Copilot?, etc.
  • What kind of new divisions might generative AI create between enabled and unenabled employees?

Let us help you ready your organisation and people for AI faster

Avanade Advisory will partner with you through the ongoing journey of experimentation, readiness and scaling required to continually realise value from AI, while our privileged access to Microsoft will ensure you are always positioned to seize opportunities faster than competitors.

Register for a workshop

If you are ready to responsibly harness the benefits of AI, sign up for a complementary AI organisational readiness workshop.

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