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Report forecasts 85% GenAI adoption in software workforce by 2026

Written by Wed 10 Jul 2024

Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) is predicted to be adopted by 85% of the software workforce by 2026, up from 46% currently, according to a report by Capgemini.

The IT services and consulting company also found adoption of GenAI for software engineering is still in its early stages, with 9 in 10 organisations yet to scale.

A total of 27% organisations are running generative AI pilots and 11% have begun leveraging GenAI in their software functions. Notably, 75% of large organisations have adopted GenAI compared to just 23% of their smaller counterparts. 

Of those who have adopted GenAI, Capgemini found organisations are ‘reaping multiple benefits’ with 61% citing innovation as the top advantage, followed by 49% noting improved software quality. 

These organisations also reported an average productivity increase of 7 to 18% in their software engineering functions, with time savings for certain specialised tasks reaching up to 35%.

“Generative AI has emerged as a powerful technology to assist software engineers, rapidly gaining adoption. Its impact on coding efficiency and quality is measurable and proven, yet it holds promise for other software activities,” said Pierre-Yves Glever, Head of Global Cloud & Custom Applications at Capgemini.

AI Frees up Time

Organisations surveyed plan to use the time saved by GenAI for innovative tasks, including developing new software features (50%) and upskilling (47%). Only 4% of organisations intend to reduce headcount. New roles like GenAI developer, prompt writer, and GenAI architect are emerging.

Of those surveyed, 78% of software professionals are optimistic about Gen AI’s potential to enhance collaboration. Capgemini found GenAI can enhance communication between software engineers and business teams. 

Both senior and junior software professionals also report higher levels of satisfaction from using Gen AI (respectively 69% and 55%). They see generative AI as a strong enabler and motivator.

Unauthorised GenAI a Threat to Businesses

According to the report, 63% of software professionals admit to using unauthorised GenAI tools to aid in tasks. This rapid adoption, lacking proper governance and oversight, exposes organisations to risks including fabricated code, code leaks, and intellectual property issues.

Capgemini said code generated with unauthorised AI tools expose internal systems and applications to malicious actors, which can lead to data leakage, unauthorised access, and cyberattacks. It may also expose the internal code to competitors and third parties by making it part of the training data. 

Capgemini said ensuring reliability and quality of the generated output is a challenge when employees use unauthorised tools without proper validation and system checks. 

To amend this, the report said organisations should double down on data governance and prioritise visibility regarding the quality and clarity of the provenance of any data used.

Head of Global Cloud & Custom Applications at Capgemini, Pierre-Yves Glever, said true value will emerge from a holistic software engineering approach, beyond deploying a single ‘new’ tool. 

“This involves addressing business needs with robust and relevant design, establishing comprehensive developer workspaces and assistants, implementing quality and security gates, and setting up effective software teams,” said Glever.

In January, OpenAI and investor Microsoft were sued by two authors alleging the companies used their work to train AI models behind ChatGPT and other AI services.

The writers and former journalists, Nicholas Basbanes and Nicholas Gage, alleged in the class action lawsuit that Microsoft and OpenAI decided upon a ‘deliberate strategy’ to steal copyrighted works to power their ‘massive commercial enterprise’.

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Written by Wed 10 Jul 2024

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