CIO Survey

Generative AI in Focus: CIOs Share Their Thoughts and Strategies

Generative AI offers the potential to revolutionize the business landscape. This article summarizes the opinions of several CIOs we polled who point to the complexities of implementing this technology and the benefits it can bring to their organizations, while weighing the potential impact on customers, operations and employees.

As seen in Chief Data Officer Magazine

Amid the prevailing excitement surrounding generative AI and use applications such as ChatGPT, Google's Bard, Bing's Chat as well as open-source solutions, CIOs find themselves pondering whether this technology is merely hype or a true game changer with the potential to revolutionize the business landscape. Navigating the implementation of value-creating generative AI within an organization is a complex endeavor, as it involves balancing diverse perspectives and understanding the potential long-term impact on customers, business operations and workforces. Deciding how best to proceed requires a delicate balancing of business value, risk and ethical concerns.

To obtain deeper insights about generative AI, its applicability, adoption rates and barriers to adoption, Rackspace Technology carried out a targeted poll among a diverse group of chief information officers (CIOs) with a specific emphasis on their views and insights on the integration and future impact of AI technologies within their organizations. Rackspace Technology conducted the poll at a May 17 CIO Forum that brought together more than 80 CIOs, delving into the intricate world of generative AI. The CIOs represented a cross section of industries, including financial services, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and public sector organizations.

The CIOs' collective responses revealed many helpful suggestions and insights to help companies establish AI strategies that encourage ethical AI usage and advantageous outcomes.

Highlights of their responses include: 

  • 82% believe that generative AI will rewrite their industry and how work is done
  • 32% are planning to put a tool into production in the next six months
  • The two largest barriers to adoption are regulatory and ethical concerns (54%) and data quality and availability (38%)


Detailed results below in graphic:


CIO Survey Data



To effectively navigate the scope of generative AI and prepare for its future, below are several practical applications to help guide CIOs and CDOs as they build their strategies.

     1. Build success through collaboration

It is crucial to assemble a generative AI steering committee comprising representatives from diverse backgrounds, including business, technology, regulatory, security, and data communities. This cross-functional committee can facilitate collaborative discussions and establish a clear charter and cadence for communication, ensuring a well-rounded perspective on the integration and utilization of generative AI.

     2. Engage a knowledgeable AI partner

Engaging a knowledgeable partner can provide valuable insights and guidance in staying abreast of the rapidly evolving regulatory, ethical and security landscape surrounding AI. With the complexity of these factors, partnering with experts can help organizations adapt and comply with emerging requirements while leveraging the full potential of generative AI.

     3. Establish AI policies and guidance for best practices

Developing internal guidance documents dedicated to the governance and use of AI, specifically focusing on generative AI, is another critical recommendation. These documents serve as essential references for employees and stakeholders, providing clear guidelines, policies and best practices for responsible and effective implementation of generative AI technologies.

     4. Evaluate your data!  

Another critical practice involves thoroughly assessing your data governance, data operations (DataOps) and machine learning operations (MLOps). Evaluating the maturity of these processes can help identify areas for improvement and ensure the availability of high-quality data required to support generative AI initiatives effectively.

     5. Organize data design workshops

Organizations can take advantage of the transformative powers of generative AI by holding data design workshops. These workshops offer a platform for thoughtfully generating and evaluating ideas, enabling organizations to move into a stage-gate development process. By carefully managing this process, companies can use generative AI at scale, realizing its full potential and reaping the benefits of its transformative capabilities.

     6. Encourage your team to experiment

As part of your AI policies and guidelines, actively encourage your team to experiment and bring ideas for innovation to the table for both internal and customer-facing workflows. Imagine that the impact of generative AI could generate a 5% increase in productivity. Use the generative AI hype as inspiration to get your team excited about the possibilities of AI.



Generative AI is here to stay and is quickly going to become more pervasive across the business sector. With a unified understanding of the technology and its potential, organizations can benefit from the imminent transformation and take advantage of the new opportunities to come.

To seize the moment, CIOs and CDOs must proactively establish mechanisms to address and harness the transformative power of the technology. Rather than shying away from it, they should embrace generative AI as the elephant in the room and recognize its imminent impact on the business world. 

Organizations that adapt and leverage its capabilities stand poised to navigate the forthcoming changes and shape a future of innovation and growth. The time to embrace generative AI is now, as it promises to revolutionize industries and usher in a new era of possibilities.


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About the Authors

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VP - Evangelist and Senior Architect

Ben Blanquera

Ben is VP-Evangelist and Senior Architect with Rackspace Technology. He works with enterprises, architecting solutions to enable them to drive business outcomes through thriving in a multicloud world.    He is a 35-year veteran in multiple industries including health care, manufacturing, and technology consulting. Prior to Rackspace, Ben was with Covail, a leading-edge provider of AI/ML and cybersecurity services to Fortune 1000 clients. At Covail, Ben was VP of Delivery and transitioned to VP of Revenue and Client Success.  A recognized technology leader, Ben was named a Premier 100 leader by Computerworld. Outside of work, he loves to travel, ride his bike, and spend time with his wife and four daughters. He is an active organizer in the tech community and curates the Central Ohio CIO forum (150+ CIOs) and founded Techlife Columbus. Ben also serves on the Pitch Advisory Board for South by Southwest and the Editorial Board for CDO Magazine.

Read more about Ben Blanquera