A majority of workers believe that adopting “emerging technologies” — like generative AI and machine learning — would benefit their company. But at the same time, more than half, around 59%, say their senior leadership is slow to embrace new tools, according to a study from EY. In fact, 48% said executives do not see the value of adopting new technologies at all.
Even when new technology was adopted, 52% of respondents said that it was outdated by the time it was fully implemented, the survey found.
There’s fallout from all this. EY said the disparity is causing a generational workplace divide. Younger employees are more willing than any other age group to use new technology in their day-to-day operations. For instance, Gen Z and Millennial employees are more likely than other generations to say they currently use generative AI to draft emails, at 24% and 27% respectively. Only 12% of Gen X and 6% of Baby Boomers are creating emails in the same way.
Workers are Waiting
“Today’s workforce is anxiously awaiting tomorrow’s digital capabilities,” said Faisal Alam, leader of EY Americas Consulting Emerging Technology. “Though leaders acknowledge how new technologies can transform their business, they need to also be aware of employee perceptions around the slow pace of adoption, and the barriers and risks that could undermine efforts.”
One of the largest barriers for adoption of emerging technologies is cybersecurity risks, EY said. In addition, ethical and moral concerns, a skills gap and insufficient training all play a role in slowing things down.
“Establishing trust is foundational for integrating new, emerging technologies into an organization of any size,” Alam added, “In order to realize the full upside of groundbreaking advances like AI and edge computing, leaders must strategically put employees at the center of their transformation decisions by communicating their objectives for new technologies early and often.”