85% of software workers to adopt generative AI by 2024: Capgemini

Generative AI (Gen AI) is expected to play a key role in expanding the software engineering workforce, helping to support more than 25% of software design, development, and testing efforts over the next two years. According to a recent report by Capgemini Research Institute, “Turbocharging software with generative AI: How organizations can realize the full potential of generative AI for software engineering,” the vast majority (80%) of software professionals believe that by automating simpler, repetitive tasks, Gen AI tools and solutions will significantly transform their role, freeing up time to focus on higher-value tasks. More than three-quarters of software professionals believe that generative AI has the potential to increase collaboration with non-technical business teams.

While generative AI adoption in software engineering is still in its early stages, with 9 out of 10 organizations yet to scale, the report found that organizations with active Gen AI initiatives are already reaping multiple benefits from their adoption—first in support of innovation (61% of organizations surveyed), followed by improved software quality (49%). They also saw an average improvement of 7% to 18% in the productivity of their software engineering functions. For some specialized tasks, time savings were as much as 35%.

Surveyed organizations emphasized that they plan to use the extra time freed up by generative AI for innovative work, such as developing new software features (50%) and upskilling (47%); while downsizing is the least popular path (only 4% of surveyed organizations). New roles are also emerging, such as generative AI developer, incentive writer, or generative AI architect.

Better collaboration between technical and business teams

From better communication to explaining code in natural language, Gen AI improves collaboration between software engineers and other business teams. 78% of software professionals are optimistic about Gen AI’s potential to improve collaboration.

Extended Software Workforce and Employee Satisfaction

According to the study, generative AI tools are currently used by 46% of software engineers to assist with tasks. Nearly three-quarters agree that the potential of generative AI extends beyond writing code. While coding assistance is the leading use case, generative AI also has applications in other software development 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% vs. 55%, respectively). They see generative AI as a strong enabler and motivator.

However, according to the report, 63% of software professionals report using unauthorized Gen AI tools to help them perform their tasks. This rapid adoption, without proper governance and oversight, exposes organizations to functional, security and legal risks, such as hallucinogenic code, code leaks and intellectual property issues.

Pierre-Yves Glever, Head of Global Cloud & Custom Applications at Capgemini, said: “Generative AI has emerged as a powerful technology to support software engineers, rapidly gaining popularity. Its impact on coding efficiency and quality is measurable and proven, and it holds great promise for other software operations. However, we must remember that real value will come from a holistic approach to software engineering that goes beyond implementing a single ‘new’ tool. This involves meeting business needs with a solid and relevant design, creating comprehensive workspaces and developer assistants, implementing quality and security gateways, and building effective development teams. The focus must be on what really drives value. These are exciting times!”

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