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SaaS vendors and the Chat-GPT hype: is it time to integrate or stay grounded?

Ken Miller Chief Technology Officer
Publish date: 4th May 2023

In the business world, board members of disruptive SaaS companies all over the globe are asking their CPOs, "How are we going to integrate Chat-GPT?" It's easy to get caught up in the excitement, but should you drop everything and integrate today?

Balancing the demands of your commercial sales teams, development teams, and customer success can be challenging, even without the pressure to integrate cutting-edge technologies like Chat-GPT. Before making a decision, ask yourself these three crucial questions.

Have your customers asked for it?

The first question to ask yourself is whether your customers have expressed a need for Chat-GPT integration. It has been all over both the tech and mainstream news, so unless they have had a news embargo, the chances are they have heard of Chat GPT and are wondering what generative AI could add to their business.

If customers are requesting this feature or looking for solutions that generative AI could provide, then it is worthwhile to consider integrating. It’s always better to work with a design customer on new features, and it will certainly give your development team a greater insight into how Generative AI could fit within your application. However, if the demand isn't there, you might want to hold off on integrating Chat-GPT and focus on other priorities that are going to drive the business forward.

Was Chat-GPT in your backlog?

If Chat-GPT integration was not part of your original plan or backlog (and I’m guessing it wasn’t, as it seems to have sneaked up on us all), it's essential to consider why you're suddenly shifting gear. Are you succumbing to the hype, or does the technology genuinely offer significant benefits to your business? It’s important to evaluate the long-term effects of deviating from your original plan before committing to a new course of action.

What will you not deliver because of the focus on Chat-GPT?

Integrating new technology always comes at a cost. Before you commit to incorporating Chat-GPT into your business, consider what other projects or goals you might have to put on hold. Are there more critical initiatives that need your attention? It's essential to weigh the benefits of integrating Chat-GPT against the potential drawbacks of delaying other projects. So, after asking yourself these questions and deciding you’re going to integrate with Chat-GPT here are some strategies you could explore:

Evaluate customer needs and feedback

As I’ve already mentioned, it is always best to work with a design customer for this type of integration. Before diving into Chat-GPT integration, take the time to assess your customers' needs and gather their feedback. Understand how Chat-GPT could solve their problems or enhance their experience with your product. Work closely with your customers during the prototyping phase to ensure the integration will meet their expectations.

Align Chat-GPT integration with your product roadmap

When considering Chat-GPT integration, evaluate how it fits into your existing product roadmap and its potential impact. Ensure that adopting this new technology aligns with your overall product strategy and long-term goals. Is it needed to drive the business forward? Does integration fast-track potential growth plans? Does not adopting early put you behind your competition?

Collaborate with cross-functional teams

Collaborate closely with your commercial sales, development, and customer success teams to gain insights into the potential benefits and drawbacks of Chat-GPT integration. By fostering open communication and collaboration, you can to make more informed decisions about whether to pursue Chat-GPT integration.

Manage expectations and prioritize

As a product manager, it's crucial to manage expectations and prioritize tasks effectively. If you decide to integrate Chat-GPT, make sure to communicate the timeline and potential trade-offs to all stakeholders. Balancing the expectations of different teams will help ensure a smoother transition and integration process.

A measured approach: Panintelligence's strategy

At my company, Panintelligence (we focus on embedded analytics & BI for SaaS vendors), we're very excited about what the integration of Chat-GPT could deliver for our customers in the future. We have decided that the best approach would be to initially look at areas where it could add significant value. To do this, we ran innovation days with our development team, and from that, we identified a couple of areas that we are going to prototype with our customers.

Involving our customers at this early stage is paramount for us, and that's what we'll be doing over the coming months. We've noticed a couple of legacy vendors in our space jumping on the hype bandwagon and launching integrations. There may have been little or zero consultation with their customers on this, and it's worth considering what other features in the roadmap had to be sacrificed to deliver on this.

Conclusion

Chat-GPT and generative AI are undoubtedly game-changers in the tech landscape. However, it's crucial not to let the hype drive your decision-making. By asking yourself these three questions and taking a measured approach, like we are doing, you can ensure that integrating Chat-GPT is the right move for your business. It's essential to weigh the benefits of integrating Chat-GPT against the potential drawbacks of delaying other projects and ensure that customer needs remain at the forefront of your decision-making process. After all, what sets successful businesses apart is their ability to prioritize and make informed decisions, even when faced with the allure of new technologies.

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Ken Miller, Chief Technology Officer Ken has worked in Software Development and complex data systems for over 25 years. Troubled by the complexity and lack of security in Business Intelligence tools, he and his team (with some help!) started writing their own. Seventeen years on (and still going), they have been joined by a team of passionate techies who have shared the vision and managed to deliver what they could never have done alone. Ken admits he may be a one-trick pony, but he loves data passionately; where others see problems, he sees his next challenge. Bringing structure and meaning to a world of increasing complexity is his hobby – except on the weekend when he enjoys surfing on a beautiful beach in the glorious north east of England.View all posts by Ken Miller
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