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A new survey shows that generative artificial intelligence is quickly making inroads across all enterprise activities. A quarter of all tech firms are said to use generative AI to develop software.

This week Altman Solon released the results of their survey of US technology firms as regards the deployment and use of artificial intelligence tools across their business activities.

The San Francisco based Altman Solon consultancy surveyed 292 senior technology executives and interviewed a panel of industry experts to better understand opportunities for generative AI in businesses.  

The survey identified software development as the top business function for generative AI adoption at 22%. This was followed by AI use in marketing (11%), customer service (8%), and product development (6%).

Moreover, when Altman Solon asked the execs about future adoption of generative AI, the expected adoption rates approach 80% or more in software development, marketing, and customer service, with a 62% expected adoption rate for product development. 

Among the companies surveyed, off-the-shelf solutions and custom apps built on an out-of-the-box model are tied as the most popular development models of generative AI tools, with 70% of respondents choosing one of these two options for current or intended generative AI development.

Companies surveyed who used SaaS tools were two to three times more likely to prefer out-of-the-box solutions, suggesting a solid market in ready-made, enterprise-grade generative AI tools. 

Outsourcing is key

The survey shows that most companies are interested in outsourcing generative AI app development and prefer deploying generative AI models on the public cloud of their choice. 48% said they used generative AI in the cloud independent of their provider, compared to 32% who used the application providers’ environment. Only 20% of respondents say they are using their own private infrastructure.  

“There is clearly a strong demand for new generative AI tools that will grow exponentially over the next year,” said Altman Solon Partner Josh Zaretsky.

“As the market matures, it will be important for AI providers to develop more easy-to-use and customizable solutions, which customers have come to expect from SaaS and other more established technology applications”, he added.