Is AI Affecting Your Business? Here’s How To Make it Work For You Not Against You

April 18th 2020

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What comes to your mind when you hear the phrase artificial intelligence (A.I)? Is it voice-controlled assistants such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home? Or, a self-deploying robotic vacuum that can determine how much vacuuming your room needs without human assistance?

Whatever it is, one thing is undeniable – A.I is rapidly becoming part of everyday life. In fact, A.I is affecting how we sell B2B/B2C products and services.

Sample these statistics;

  • A 2019 CIO survey by Gartner of more than 3,000 executives in 89 countries found the use of A.I. grew by a staggering 270% over the past four years.
  • According to a study by Adobe, 63% of businesses say the pressure to cut down costs will push them to use A.I.
  • 62% of 235 business executives interviewed by Narrative Science say they’re using A.I to help them identify opportunities in data.
  • Insights by Boston Consulting Group, in collaboration with MIT Sloan Management Review, reveal that 86% of businesses see A.I as a tactical priority for growth.
  • Accenture forecasts the impact of A.I on business will increase labor productivity by 40%.

Sure, many companies are yet to create structures to help them generate value from artificial intelligence. Still, acceptance of A.I. in businesses is looming, despite marketplace confusion.

If you’re skeptical of how artificial intelligence might affect your business both in the long and short term, this write-up will help you keep your finger on the pulse.

But, first things first;

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence describes how computers mimic human behavior to resolve problems efficiently and quickly than we do.

In a layman’s language, A.I refers to an intelligent machine. And it’s all around you, from the voice-activated microwave in your kitchen to face-recognition on your phone.

Artificial intelligence covers a raft of different things, from robotics to vision and speech. The idea behind A.I. is to have computer systems that can learn without being explicitly programmed.

As a business owner, you need to read the landscape and, most importantly, prepare to adopt change.

With that in mind, here’s how to ensure A.I works for and not against you.

Get Ready – A.I. Adaption is Going to Spread in the Coming Years

Investment in A.I is gathering pace world over.

Take a look;

  • In 2019, IBM invested $2 billion in the development of a modern artificial
    intelligence hub in New York. The project is part of the company’s efforts to
    fuel growth from emerging technologies.
  • The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), in conjunction with corporations from Asia and the Middle East, raised $2 billion to support local companies developing A.I solutions.

That said, artificial intelligence implementation is still at its infancy, despite this level of investment. Indeed, this is good news for businesses trying to figure out how to incorporate A.I into their operations.

While there’s time to learn, technologies such as natural-language and machine learning are starting to mature and, most importantly, prove their long term value for businesses.

Do you know what this means?

Well, it implies that businesses must look for ways to adopt A.I. Think of it
as a strategy to keep you one step ahead of your competition when artificial intelligence takes full effect.

The Sooner you Adopt A.I, the Better it is for your Business

Telecom and financial services are leading the way when it comes to the implementation of A.I. However, this doesn’t mean you should sit and wait if your business doesn’t fall into these two industries.

The ripple effect is that these businesses gain more market share and, by extension, streamline their operations.

On top of that, the study suggests early adoption of A.I increases the likelihood of growing profit margins by up to five points when pitted against competitors.

Indeed,artificial intelligence is not all hype and no substance – it can potentially boost your businesses’ top and bottom line.

Leadership is an Integral Part of A.I Implementation

Intense and focused executive leadership is essential for the successful adoption of A.I. into your business.

As a business owner or executive, you have to evolve quickly in line with this new and dynamic environment to enable you to bridge the gap between old and new ways of doing things.

In other words, you have to show your team that you understand and promote the value offered by artificial intelligence.

A.I Partnership Builds Capability and Capacity

You don’t have to embark on the journey to integrate A.I into your business alone. While adoption of artificial intelligence is picking pace, there’s still a shortage of technical expertise.

Look around,

Large organizations such as Google and Amazon are collaborating with talent outside their “boundaries” to bolster their A.I capacity.  Google, for instance, acquired DeepMind to help them improve in areas such as search optimization.

The point is;

You’ll have the edge over industry peers if you partner with others to develop and implement A.I solutions instead of doing everything in-house.

Portfolio Approach is the Best Way to Adopt A.I into your Business

Artificial intelligence offers a raft of benefits to your business, from reducing operational costs to automating customer interaction and predicting outcomes. It is, therefore,essential to consider a portfolio approach when implementing A.I. as outlined below.

Short-term – Adopt technologies that can provide an immediate business solution (such as using A.I tools to help you develop a competitive strategy) and then scale as results start to trickle.

Mid-term – Test emerging technologies but with low awareness (such as learning video recognition) to see if they add value to your business before scaling.

Long-term – Partner with an artificial intelligence solution provider to create a high-impact solution (such as improved human decision making) using cutting edge A.I technology to increase market share.

Final Thoughts

Artificial intelligence is one of the most disruptive developments in today’s business world. As evident from the statistics above, it makes perfect sense to get on board with A.I if you want to scale your business and gain a competitive edge.

The next digital frontier is here already, and you don’t want to be left out.

As artificial intelligence continues to take center stage, it is time to shift your focus to technologies that will improve effectiveness and decision-management.

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