Dear CIO: Navigating the Shadows - GenAI's Promise, Peril, and the Path Forward
Date & Time
Wednesday, May 22, 2024, 4:15 AM - 5:00 AM

This is an open letter addressed to chief information officers (CIOs). The presentation focuses on shadow AI, technical debt, and the security vulnerabilities they bring. By drawing parallels with IT practices of the past, the presentation explores the evolution of technology and technical debt. The goal is to show that the shadow deployment of generative AI within organizations, known as shadow AI, is familiar. We have seen it before, bringing security breaches and technical debt in its wake. "Dear CIO" is not just a warning but a guide to help organizations leverage the benefits of AI while protecting themselves from the risks that come with it.

  1.  Historical Parallels: We've Seen This Movie Before
  •  Drawing parallels between shadow IT's challenges and the emerging phenomenon of generative AI.
  •  Lessons from the past: How unregulated adoption of technologies led to security vulnerabilities and technical debt.

        2. The Dark Side of GenAI: Security Breaches and Data Vulnerabilities

  •  Real-world examples where the lack of oversight on AI tools led to significant security and privacy breaches.
  •  Discuss the potential for AI systems to be exploited for malicious purposes due to insufficient security measures.

        3. AI Technical Debt: The Hidden Costs

  •  We are exploring the concept of AI technical debt: rushed implementations, lack of documentation, and the absence of robust testing.
  •  The compounding effect of technical debt on organizational agility, innovation, and security posture.

         4. Conclusion: A Call to Action for CIOs

  •  The indispensable role of CIOs in navigating the AI landscape: steering their organizations towards responsible adoption and management of AI technologies.
  •  The future is not written: This section emphasizes the potential for CIOs to shape AI's trajectory within their organizations, ensuring that it serves as a tool for empowerment rather than a source of vulnerability.

This presentation aims to bridge the gap between the allure of unchecked GenAI innovation and the imperative of governance. It illuminates a path forward that respects AI's promise while vigilantly guarding against its dangers.

John Willis