A dizzying array of technologies have burst onto the scene in recent years, including Internet of Things (IoT), software as a service (SaaS), robotics, and many others. However, none perhaps has so much of a role to play in digital transformation as artificial intelligence (AI) and its cousin machine learning (ML).
Importance of Artificial Intelligence to Digital Transformation
The very term AI conjures up futuristic science fiction movies in people’s minds, but the truth is that AI is already among us today. AI technologies are changing the world in profound ways and creating new business opportunities as they reshape the economy and transform what companies can offer.
In fact, if you did a Google search today or asked Siri a question, you have already interacted with an AI or ML technology. And that’s just scratching the surface.
Eventually, AI and ML (there’s talk already of deep learning) will form the backbone of many things we do and how we operate as a society. Right from how underground water pipes are monitored for leaks to how airplanes detect and avoid each other’s flight paths.The implications this has for businesses are massive, and many are wise to it. An IDC report found that 40% of all digital transformation initiatives are now related to AI. Before we explore further, it’s important to understand what AI actually is and why understanding what it can do is important.
[Netsurit Impact Assessment]
Want to Know How Your Peers Are Using AI?
Find out if your IT vision is supporting the business (and what your peers are investing in)
What Is Artificial Intelligence?
In a nutshell, AI refers to technology that enables machines to independently understand, act, and learn, preferably in such a way that helps humans or enhances human activities. By being able to learn and make distinctions, AI gains some of the capabilities of humans, or at least a reasonable replica, and with the added bonus that a machine does not need to rest.
With the emergence of AI, Accenture expects that economic growth rates could double by 2035 as a result of human productivity becoming far greater and manual work being automated for vastly improved efficiency. So, it’s no surprise that businesses are paying close attention to this revolutionary technology as they jostle to gain a competitive advantage in this new era.
Artificial Intelligence and Digital Transformation: Applying Them to the Business Context
AI has virtually endless uses in the business world, so we can’t list them all here. What we can do is provide you with a few examples so you can get an idea of some of the most obvious use cases.
IT Support and Security
AI tools are already being used to monitor IT systems and detect attempted attacks in real time. This frees up IT staff to focus on more strategic, value-added tasks.
AI is also being used to help users solve technical issues on their own, as well as automate routine IT tasks, again liberating IT staff to do more useful things.
If you’ve spoken to a company’s chatbot online or their robo-advisor over the phone, you have seen a glimpse of how companies are using AI for customer service.
While some consumers do not like the idea of a computer replacing a person for customer service, there is a massive incentive for businesses to use AI in a way that both reduces costs and improves the customer experience. Customer service will be a key battleground in the AI wars between businesses.
Admittedly, this is a vague blanket term, however, it gives us an opportunity to tell you that AI is being used to streamline and automate all kinds of business operations. This includes organizing calendars, automating data entry, running reports, and much more.
The use of AI across business operations will be a key cost-saving opportunity for companies optimizing their bottom line.
AI is showing great promise for companies looking to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their HR operations.
AI can do things like screen and filter candidates, schedule interviews, and calculate bonuses and benefits, meaning HR staff can do more meaningful work that is focused on improving employee engagement and supporting business goals.
Putting Artificial Intelligence to Use in Digital Transformations in Your Business
With all the opportunities that AI presents, as well as risks of not adopting AI, businesses need to have a plan in place to assess where it could provide value and then to begin realizing that value.
This means defining what an AI-based operating model could look like for your business, from the organizational structure to the roles of your staff.
In most cases, businesses will be required to place a significant focus on AI adoption, which will likely mean assigning dedicated resources or outsourced consultants to understand and implement AI capabilities.
It will be an investment, but it’s one that the majority of businesses cannot afford to skip for too much longer if they want to survive and thrive in the age of artificial intelligence.
Role of Data in Digital Transformation
The lifeblood of AI and ML is big data, so one of the keys to AI adoption is ensuring your business has the capability to collect and analyze large amounts of meaningful data.
If you are feeding your AI with valuable data, it will be able to use that to learn and fire back recommendations and data insights related to serving your customers, optimizing your operations, and adjusting your product portfolio.
If you read that and feel your ‘data literacy’ and data strategy are not where they need to be to start thinking about AI, you might be wondering where to start. Well, first you need to take note of all the data that your organization is collecting as part of its day-to-day business operations. Then start gathering, storing, and managing data in an organized way and putting tools in place that allow it to be turned into tangible insights.
If you’re not yet at that stage, you will need to explore the concept of data science further before you can realistically start thinking about the role of data in digital transformation in your business.
If your business is data literate, AI presents you with a massive opportunity to start putting that data to incredible use.
It’s Likely Artificial Intelligence Will Power Digital Transformation in Your Business
As AI technologies continue to improve, getting in early by adopting data-driven digital transformation and revamping your business model to emphasize their use will put your business in the strongest possible position to take advantage.
Before long, AI could be the driving force in monitoring your systems, recommending the best forward in marketing your products, and completing routine tasks.
To summarize, AI will be a defining feature of our future and one that businesses cannot afford to ignore. Netsurit is obsessed with AI trends and we’d love to speak with you to learn more about how your business could use the technology to become more competitive and efficient. If you’re looking to learn more about AI, get in touch with us.