Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) is an integral part of our daily lives today. From Siri, IBM Watson, Google services like search, maps, photos etc all translate to Artificial Intelligent (AI)-powered products and services which have made inroads into every aspect of our personal and professional lives.
A Threat or an Opportunity
Think and answer ‘Does your company see AI as a threat or an opportunity or both’? Do you think it’s a fair question to ask? It’s like asking a manufacturer at the end of the 19th century, impact of electricity on business. Just like any foundation technology be it electricity, internet or Blockchain, AI can be applied in many different ways and it impacts every business differently.
In this digital era where advanced technologies are accelerating transforming businesses, dwelling in the past and being reluctant to embrace the present could cost business big time. Technologies like AI, ML, and data analytics are empowering almost all industries and organizations of all sizes.
Every business has a different impact and business value extraction from AI. From startups to large enterprises – all are in some form consulting AI experts/professionals to be ahead of the game. It’s not surprising that Gartner has predicted that AI will be one of the top five investment priorities for more than 30% of CIOs globally by 2020.
Day-to-Day Business Cases
AI has the ability to revolutionize all the industries, especially the ones mentioned below. Businesses have realized that excellent customer service is critical to running a successful business.
Retail improving customer experience – Automated bots are driving powerful and practical ways for retailers, E-commerce players in the retail industry. It helps them to engage the right customers with the right messaging at the right time — creating a lifelike, seamless customer service experience. It also addresses consumer queries based on their purchase history and known preferences.
BFSI addressing traditional customer service concerns – AI/ML tools in BFSI (financial institutes and banks) are continuing to transform the industry to overcome traditional customer service challenges, adhere to regulatory compliances, reduce risks and increase opportunities to provide greater levels of value to their customers.
AI revolutionizing Healthcare – To reduce the overall spending, streamline care and improve patient treatment, from small clinics to bigger hospital chains, all are adopting AI/ML and revolutionizing the way Healthcare sector works.
Real-time recommendations for Manufacturers – AI / ML solutions are making real-time recommendations about which materials to be injected at what time to ensure continuity of the manufacturing processes. Thus, helping manufacturing companies to improve efficiency, continuity and customer satisfaction.
Logistics boosting productivity – AI / ML technology has made inroads in logistics and supply chains with contextual intelligence that can be used to reduce the operating costs, manage inventory/warehouse and boost productivity.
With surging momentum of great progress in the field as well as promising business cases, the hype around AI may be warranted. So, for organizations that are getting started with AI & ML, this can be a bit overwhelming to keep pace with the fast innovation cycles, new hybrid IT landscapes, and deployment models. In order to implement and reap the actual benefits of these technologies, companies need to overcome the technological, organizational and cultural challenges.
Right Time to Engage
There are still enterprises out there that are rightfully reluctant to explore new technologies. However, it’s time to go beyond the traditional approach and the old paradigm. Earlier, the investment in new technologies used to depend on the turnover of the companies, which is not the case anymore. It is time for all the enterprises to start having investment and conversations revolving around the business value creation.
To get started with AI, businesses must keep these points in mind:
- Focus: Collect your business data from relevant touch points
- Identify: Look for the business challenges that are hindering your business efficiency
- Define: What should the AI/ML solution you opt for achieve?
- Educate/Train: Have the resources onboard to raise awareness on new technologies
- Consult:Get in touch with a trusted IT advisory firm before investing
The march of AI and ML will continue and there is no force that will stop the advancement of these technologies. From the world’s largest enterprises to emerging start-ups, businesses are creating new insights, enabling new efficiencies, and making more accurate business predictions. With the help of broadest and deepest set of AI/ML techniques, business leaders will continue to recognize complex patterns and make smart decisions.
(The author is CEO of Crayon Software Experts, an IT advisory firm in software and digital transformation services with a focus on AI-ML technologies. The views expressed are his own.)