Report: 85% of software industry workers expected to use generative AI in next two years

Capgemini Research Institute said Thursday that generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI) is expected to play a key role in expanding the software workforce, supporting more than 25 percent of software design, development and testing efforts over the next two years.

The institute said in its latest report, “Turbocharging software with generative AI: How organizations can realize the full potential of generative AI for software engineering,” that the vast majority (80 percent) of software professionals believe that by automating simpler, repetitive tasks, Gen AI tools and solutions will significantly transform their functions, freeing up time to focus on higher-value-added tasks.

Meanwhile, more than three-quarters of software professionals believe generative AI has the potential to improve collaboration with non-technical business teams.

While the adoption of generative AI in software engineering is still in its early stages, with nine out of ten organizations yet to reach scale, the report found that organizations with active Gen AI initiatives are already reaping numerous benefits from its implementation—leading in innovation (61 percent of organizations surveyed) and second in improving software quality (49 percent).

They also saw improvements of between 7 and 18 percent (on average) in the productivity of software engineering functions.

For some specialized tasks, time savings were as high as 35 percent.

The surveyed organizations emphasized that they plan to use the additional time freed up by generative AI for innovative work, such as developing new software functions (50%) and improving skills (47%), with the least common path being headcount reduction (only 4% of surveyed organizations).

New roles are also emerging, such as generative AI developer, tooltip writer, and generative AI architect.

Generation AI is making collaboration between software engineers and other business teams more effective, the report says, from better communication to explaining how code works in natural language.

78 percent of software professionals are optimistic about the potential of next-generation AI to improve collaboration.

The study found that 46 percent of software engineers currently use generative AI tools to assist them in completing their tasks.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents agree that the potential of generative AI goes beyond writing code.

While its primary application is coding assistance, generative AI also finds application in other software lifecycle activities, such as code modernization or user experience (UX) design.

Both senior and junior software professionals also report higher levels of satisfaction with Gen AI (69 percent and 55 percent, respectively), and they see generative AI as a strong enabler and motivator.

However, according to the report, 63 percent of software professionals say they use unauthorized Gen AI tools to help them get their jobs done.

This rapid adoption of this technology, without proper governance and oversight, exposes organizations to functional, security, and legal risks such as hallucinogenic code, code leakage, and intellectual property (IP) issues.

“Generative AI has emerged as a powerful technology to assist software engineers, rapidly gaining popularity,

“Its impact on coding performance and quality is measurable and proven, and it offers promise for other software efforts,” said Pierre-Yves Glever, Global Director, Cloud and Custom Applications, Capgemini.

“However, we must remember that real value will emerge from a holistic approach to software engineering that goes beyond the implementation of a single “new” tool,

“This involves meeting business needs with a solid and relevant design, creating comprehensive workspaces and assistants for developers, implementing quality and security
gateways and creating effective development teams. The focus should be on what really creates value,” he added.

Capgemini Research Institute surveyed 1,098 senior executives (directors and above) and 1,092 software professionals (including architects, developers, testers, and project managers).

20 in-depth interviews were conducted with industry leaders, partners and startups, as well as several software industry professionals.

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