Will AGI destroy your IT?

Let's dive deeper

Dec 5, 2023
Alex Pshenianykov
Alex Pshenianykov
Will AGI destroy your IT?

AGI will not destroy your IT. What it will is destroy your understanding of IT as we know it.

For those who live in a happy place where there’s no news on AI on every corner and no anxiety about the crumbling world order, I just want to clarify - AGI stands for Artificial General Intelligence. What we have now in the form of Chat GPT, Gemini, Grok and others is not AGI. It’s just AI with some impressive, yet limited capabilities.

AGI is practically gonna feel like a 17-year old person with unmatched computational abilities. It will power your phone’s OS becoming your personal assistant. It will power your home robots helping your kids clean up their room and foul you it was them. And it will power your IT. And for some of you it will mean the death of your current positions.

The conversation around Artificial General Intelligence and its impact on IT in various sectors is nothing short of a rollercoaster ride, with thrilling ups of transformative potential and terrifying downs of existential risks. When we zoom into the enterprise IT landscape, particularly the IT departments of large non-technical companies like clothing brands, banking and fintech, insurance, construction and manufacturing, this ride takes on a nuanced track.

Let's explore whether AGI is set to be the ultimate upgrade for these departments or the digital storm that renders them obsolete.

Transformation through Automation and Efficiency:

  • AGI can automate routine tasks, from network management to customer service inquiries. This automation could lead to unprecedented efficiency, freeing up IT staff to focus on more strategic and creative tasks. Yes, I know. Some people in your team are terrified of creative tasks and strategy brainstorm meetings.
  • Also, with AGI's ability to process and analyze vast datasets, enterprises could benefit from predictive insights into system failures, security threats, and performance bottlenecks before they become critical issues.

Enhanced Decision-Making:

  • AGI could offer a deeper analysis of technology investments, evaluating their potential ROI through a lens that accounts for market trends, company data, and even global economic indicators.

Right now, this step is a typical weak spot for a large enterprise. Too many data points, too many decision makers, too many people with opinions. As a result, the percentage of wrong decisions based on wrong ROI predictions is pretty high.

Remember when Warner Brothers had to cancel their Batgirl movie without even releasing it after spending $90M to face poor audience response to a rough cut screening. That’s what AGI could help avoid.

  • And since AGI will understand the unique needs and workflows of every department within a company, it could help IT departments create highly customized tech solutions that drive efficiency and productivity.

Transformation of the IT Workforce:

  • Now we’re getting to the part that will not look as shiny. We all hate when good guys die in a movie. We’re like John Connor sobbing as the T-800 submerges into melting lava. That’s how we’re gonna feel about some of our colleagues being squeezed out of their jobs before they could realize what their new path should be.

The introduction of AGI into enterprise IT will necessitate a shift in skills. IT professionals will need to move from routine maintenance and support roles to positions that require oversight of AGI systems, strategic thinking, and continuous learning.

  • As AGI takes on more of the heavy lifting, IT staff will have opportunities to explore new territories like AGI system training, ethical AI management, and cross-functional strategy development.

Like I said, not everyone will last in your org. It will shrink without a doubt. It’s literally a survival game right now. If your IT organization is not investing time into AI right now, you’re already filling up your own office floor with melting lava nobody will be able to escape.

Potential Threats and Disruptions:

  • Like I just mentioned, you won’t see some of your colleagues at their desks again when your CEO officially grants AGI its keycard and badge. While automation will lead to job creation in some areas, AGI will displace many traditional IT roles, especially those focused on routine tasks. So plan accordingly.
  • It’s not all bubbles and smiles for the AGI either. It’s threatened too. Because AGI systems, with their complex neural networks, will definitely become new targets for cyberattacks. Ensuring the security of these systems could present significant challenges for IT departments. New challenges - new jobs.

The Cultural and Ethical Considerations:

  • Building trust in AGI systems will be crucial. IT departments will play a pivotal role in ensuring transparency about how decisions are made by AGI and addressing any biases in these systems. Again, these are new challenges.

You will need to gain new skills to manage efficiency of your corporate AGI as well as learn to manage the risks of AGI’s decisions and recommendations.

Only highly-skilled professionals with deep understanding of internal processes, politics and people will be able to harness this new AGI opportunity.

So no more ship jumping every 2.5 years for CIOs I guess. Cause the longer you work in one company, the more value you will have when AGI takes over routine heavy lifting. It will need a mentor. Can’t call yourself one if you only started working for the company last summer.

  • And as AGI becomes more integrated into enterprise operations, IT departments will need to establish clear guidelines for its ethical use, including privacy considerations and the potential impact on employees and customers. This will also require people who’ve been with the company long enough to understand its ethics, culture and people.

So, as you can see, the question of whether AGI will transform or destroy enterprise IT is not a binary one. AGI holds the potential to significantly transform enterprise IT departments by automating mundane tasks, enhancing decision-making processes, and creating new roles focused on strategic oversight and ethical governance.

However, this transformation comes with its own set of challenges, including potential job displacement and the need for a significant cultural shift towards trust in and ethical use of AGI systems.

A few things that I would do, as a technical leader of a modern enterprise to get myself prepared for the AGI times:

  1. invest in soft skills and creativity of my teams
  2. double down on cyber security
  3. create my own AI research team - the future core engineering team when AI become commonplace
  4. identify mundane routine maintenance areas that will likely get fully automated and make sure the people in those roles get re-skilled first
  5. find new vendors who are cutting edge in AI, like Techery.

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