Navigating the AI Revolution: AI Strategist, Walter Pasquarelli, explores the latest advancements in Generative AI with Deltek’s Bret Tushaus

May 10, 2024

Guest Author: Walter Pasquarelli

At Deltek's flagship EMEA customer conference, 'Deltek Project Nation Live' this April, I had the pleasure of taking a deep dive into the world of generative AI with Bret Tushaus, VP of Product Management at Deltek. During a fireside chat, we reflected on the advancements of generative AI (GenAI), and several key themes and insights emerged that are vital for any business looking to leverage AI in 2024.

From Curiosity to Integration: The Evolution of Generative AI: Throughout most of 2023, many of us focused on understanding the nature of generative AI. What it is, how it works, and how it can help organizations derive value. Bret shared how, at Deltek, feedback from customers often touched on feeling overwhelmed by the possibilities yet excited about the practical applications that are becoming available. But today, things have changed. The narrative around Gen AI has matured significantly. Businesses are no longer just curious about generative AI; they are urgently seeking effective ways to integrate these technologies into their workflows.

Turning potential into change: Bret and I reflected on the five-step approach to implementing AI within business operations, which we initially discussed last year. If anything, re-opening the discussion around these steps highlighted a shift from theoretical potential to practical, actionable strategies that businesses can adopt. In other words, while in 2023, most discourse focused on demystifying GenAI, this time, it should be on articulating and defining use cases and developing them in alignment with an organization's business objectives.

Real-World Applications and Challenges: As we explored real-world applications, Bret and I discussed various tools and platforms on the market that could support project teams in increasing their productivity and efficiency. We highlighted Lindy, an AI assistant, which sets itself apart by enabling users to build a team of AI employees, known as "Lindies," capable of collaborating on various tasks. The platform's emphasis on creating AI agents without advanced coding skills makes AI-powered actions more accessible to a wider audience, distinguishing it from other tools in the market.

Another AI assistant we covered was QuillBot, a useful free tool for rewording, condensing, and enhancing texts. Unlike other AI writing tools, it assists users in refining their own work, which makes it a suitable choice for content writers who want to improve the clarity and professionalism of their writing.

Finally, we could not leave out Deltek Dela, the AI-powered business companion for project-based firms. From automating tasks and extracting insights from complex data to anticipating resourcing needs, Deltek's AI capabilities are designed to meet the unique needs of project-based businesses. Project teams using Dela will benefit from increased productivity, reduced risk, cost savings and improved decision-making.


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Navigating Hype and Reality: It is clear that the emergence of GenAI and related investment hype has created quite a bit of buzz. Indeed, with the rapid proliferation of AI discussions and applications, there's a looming concern about an "AI bubble." And yet, both Bret and I believe that we need to maintain a balanced perspective, focusing on sustainable AI integration strategies rather than getting swept up in hype. While not all new AI startups will 'make the cut' in the next few years, the cat is out of the bag, and the innovation taking place is in full swing.

Regulatory and Ethical Considerations: As AI becomes more entrenched in our daily business processes, regulation and compliance have moved to the forefront. The EU AI Act and similar regulations globally are shaping how businesses adopt AI, emphasizing the importance of ethical considerations, data privacy, and compliance. Bret noted Deltek's proactive stance in embedding these considerations into their AI implementations, which is a critical takeaway for all businesses employing AI technologies.

Looking Ahead: Concluding our discussion, Bret invited me to speculate on the future trajectory of generative AI. I believe that the next 6 to 12 months will be crucial for businesses to focus on integrating AI as a seamless extension of their existing tools and workflows, enhancing interactivity and user engagement without disrupting the core of their operations.

I recommend watching out for innovation taking place across two key verticals. First, we will see the emergence of autonomous AI agents that can navigate the web and different environments and assist us more proactively in our daily operations. Second, AI will be integrated into hardware—ranging from new tools and devices competing with current smartphones to robotics applications to whom GenAI represents the brain powering their actions.

The ongoing journey of AI integration is as promising as it is complex. Staying informed and ready to act will be key to success. Don't miss my upcoming webinar, where I focus specifically on the steps senior leaders should be taking now to align their AI strategy with their business goals.



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About the Author

Walter Pasquarelli is an expert advisor on AI strategy, data governance, and digital transformation, advising Google, Meta, Microsoft, and presidencies and governments internationally.

Leading advisory and editorial programs at The Economist Group, Walter operated at the forefront of technological innovation, shaping policy and business perception of emerging technologies. He led the development of the first globally focused "AI Index", benchmarking countries' readiness to uptake emerging technologies across key industries and markets.