How Does C-Suite View Gen AI? Depends On Whom You Ask

Business-focused CxOs trust generative AI slightly less than tech-focused CxOs.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

April 15, 2024

3 Min Read
gen AI
Gunay Rahimova/Shutterstock

Although IT leaders show more enthusiasm and trust in generative AI than do their business counterparts, IT and business leaders in the C-suite are leaning into the technology.

So says a white paper by Boomi and 451 research, which surveyed 650 "CxOs" to learn how different high-level executives are approaching AI. IT-focused CxOs in an online survey indicated a higher rate of trust (82%) in gen AI output compared to 63% of business-focused CxOs. According to the mean result, 21% of C-suite leaders say they "completely trust" generative AI and 49% say they "somewhat trust it."


The discrepancy in trust between between IT CxOs and business CxOs didn't come as a huge surprise to RISE Technology Advisors co-founder Eric Ludwig. That partly has to do with IT leaders' visibility into potential projects.

"IT CxOs can see places where the risk is low of any issues. Things like forms, FAQ and others, which use data already in the public domain makes it less risky," Ludwig told Channel Futures. "Moreover, the 'training' or learning of the AI is technical, so not surprised more tech forward leaders will jump in with both feet. I also think some are fearful and looking to be a thought leader vs. a detractor as the train has left the station, and they know it."

While 57% of CxOs on the tech side perceive gen AI as positive, just 47% of business CxOs see it as positive. Yet still, on average, 11% of all CxOs hold a cautious or negative view of gen AI.

Generative AI Projects Rush Ahead

The writers of the white paper noted that a significant number of companies have already brought generative AI into the fold. Interestingly enough, business CxOs (31%) were more likely to say they had "fully embraced generative AI technology. The tech-focused CxOs most commonly stated (42%) that they had integrated generative AI into "several key processes and operations."


The report authors said it could be surprising that a technology that has existed in the public domain for just a little more than a year is getting such adoption and trust from the C-suite.

"We believe this is because, in that brief one-year time frame, many companies rushed ahead with piloting and implementing gen AI, fearing they would be left behind by more aggressive rivals ready to serve demanding customers. This was revealed when we asked the extent to which respondents’ organizations are currently leveraging gen AI technologies," the authors said.

According to the white paper, the most common area of generative AI adoption was in the category of "customer experience, insights and market research." Next came "chatbots and virtual assistants," and third was "process automation and workflow development." It's worth disclosing that Boomi is an integration and automation provider and as such focuses parts of the survey on those two areas.


Ludwig said he has seen business clients start with low-risk gen AI functions, such as helping customers identify their package's status, or helping customers update their information.

"We're also seeing clients looking into automated email replies where a live agent can eyeball it before it goes out to a client. It saves a ton of time creating the content so agents can handle a larger volume of requests but still participate and provide oversight of what's going out," Ludwig said.

About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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