AI Wears Many Hats in the Modern Workplace

Although still at a nascent stage, modern executives, tech critics, and prominent stakeholders all agree that AI has had an extremely promising impact in the workplace. It has shown great potential in augmenting human processes and has also helped mitigate the creation of silos across departments. Organizations can now promote and encourage collaboration between departments in a manner that befits the requirements of the 21st century.

Considering the impact AI has had on the industry, and the breakneck speed at which it is spreading across departments, it is only wise to study its application further. Let’s look at the potential of AI in the modern workplace and how AI has permeated through and found a place inside every department.

Previous limitations of AI are in the past as the technology continues to improve customer experience and promote collaboration between departments. 
Most organizations generally have several goals for the implementation of AI across their departments. The following series of examples pertaining to AI’s use across departments will help set a precedent, and to provide direction for a seamless transition towards extensive and far-reaching applications of AI in organizations.

Sales

One look around the sales environment of today, and you’ll see how much AI has done to leverage automation and promote efficient sales decision-making. In a world full of sales opportunities, it is amazing to see how we, as digital customers, have become used to advance sales pitches through the use of AI. 
We often see  Netflix and Amazon used as modern examples of AI, and for good reason. The technology behind the features that present users with a  list of recommended shows to watch. and recommended products to buy is the most recognizable form of sales AI at work.

When was the last time you saw an ad pop-up, presenting just what you wanted to buy?

No, AI models don’t read your mind. They’re just intelligent enough to know what to show you at the right moment. Add to this the clever use of discounts by sellers, and you have a culture developing in sales that knows how to get the most out of its customers.

Where did this all begin? There was (and is) a vital demand for automating sales decisions and creating models that would predict consumer behavior.

That’s where Salesforce came in. With their customer relationship management platform, Salesforce has released applications that use AI and the power of data to provide analytics related to sales techniques. This analytics, in turn, lead to higher success rates. Salesforce’s recent Einstein platform gives sales personnel total command of customer data and lets them decide what’s best for their customers. All of this is based on the insights provided by the platform. Most importantly, it creates an unprecedented opportunity for collaboration between all stakeholders in the selling process.

Automation in lead generation and the creation of lookalike customers has further helped the sales department embrace the concept of AI and its growth opportunities. The use of artificial intelligence in lead generation has meant that the sales pipeline has become more effective, and sales targets are increasing over time.

Marketing

Digital marketing has responded well to the increasing use of AI and data science. Digital marketing and its core concepts have changed over time; we are now at a stage where AI is leveraging the impact of marketers on the Internet. Ten years ago if you searched ‘men’s flip-flops’ on any popular eCommerce store, you wouldn’t have had found what you were looking for. Now, with the use of algorithms in search results, you can get exactly what you want without even a correct placement of the keywords.

There are certain ways in which AI can help digital marketers in their quest to perfection. Here are four of them:

1. Managing the Customer Journey

Marketers now have a better understanding of the customer experience and of customers’ behavioral attributes. With the help of anomaly detection, AI indicates both the good and the bad anomalies in the customer journey. Natural language processing guides the marketer for next best actions. These marketers can now manage their campaigns in a way that best appeals to the customer journey.

2. Personalize at Scale

One size doesn’t fit all! Today marketers have the power to give every customer what they are looking for. AI can promote personalization in selling and marketing, based on what the customer wants. Mobile phone carriers can particularly benefit from personalization, by giving their consumers personalized subscription packages that best resonate with their usage patterns.

3. Finding the Right Content

Users can now get the content and the search results they are looking for easily. The use of AI algorithms in marketing has enhanced visual search engine functionality. If you need to find images with a glass and plate in specific positions you can simply select a glass and plate in these spots and AI searches through millions of images that match these visual criteria.

4. Creating the Right Content

Digital marketers can now create content that appeals to their customer's thanks to AI. A variety of tools can help to create graphics and infographics—even videos that appeal to your target market, with little effort on the end of the marketer. AI can help to replace parts of an image, such as taking a photo of a house in a suburban neighborhood and seamlessly providing a desert backdrop.

You can learn more about how AI helps marketers in these four ways by reading this article.

Operations and Customer Support

A recent survey found that around 50 percent of executives believe that AI’s role is, ‘absolutely critical to success’ in operational departments.

How can AI be so important for manufacturing operations, for example? The answer lies in the sheer scope of the applications it provides. From virtual designs to real-time maintenance and anomaly detection, the use of AI in operations is critical. Moving on to customer support, AI has increased the usefulness of chatbots by adding voice and speech recognition. This helps customer support teams to reach their desired customer group and tap into their deepest reservations.

Information Technology (IT)

Businesses in the competitive world cannot outrun competitors because of better office supplies, or because they have updated legacy computers. Speed is now a commodity that everyone in information technology is bidding and prepared for. To win in this day and age, you need to produce radical gains, the sorts which haven’t been seen since before businesses went digital.

These gains are promised by AI.

The Boston Consulting Group recently found that only one in five organizations have integrated AI into their business processes, while 60 percent want to do so. So why have only 20 percent of organizations implemented AI? Because they haven’t realized the importance of AI in IT!

The journey towards AI starts from the IT department. Oracle is an example of a platform that automates all of its updates through the use of AI.  It’s a self-managing and self-securing database in the cloud. This minimizes the workload hassle of database management for the IT department.

Finance

AI is a crucial cog in the detection of frauds in the financial world today. Through predictive analysis, AI helps organizations in developing behavioral and tracking models that detect any signs of financial fraud. These models are based on actionable insights and work on the data provided. Data plays an important role here. The end goal for fraud detection in the financial world is to promote the use of adaptive, self-learning AI that is based on unsupervised learning.

Human Resource (HR)

Ever heard of resume-matching software? Extensively used in the HR department, these software operations help HR personnel browse through resumes and choose the best-fitting candidates. The use of AI in these software operations has enhanced the results and generated actionable insights.

Traditional resume matching software focuses on keywords. Hence, a candidate who has stuffed the right keywords in their resume passes the machine and gets into human hands. Keyword-stuffers may not necessarily be the best candidates.

The use of AI in this process has opened new horizons and ensured that all candidates are heard and that the profiling is done smarter. Instead of only keyword searching, the software does a thorough analysis and selects the best candidate by understanding the text in the resume, by reading it faster than an HR professional can. It now takes only days to screen candidates and choose the best resume. Moreover, the system tracks all records, and if there is a job opening in the future for which a previous candidate was considered capable enough, the system will immediately send their resume forward.

How amazing would this be for overwhelmed HR departments and aspiring candidates alike?

Conclusion

These are just six departments that can seriously make a greater impact with the help of AI; there are undoubtedly many more. Here are a few key takeaways about the role AI plays across the organization:

  1. AI has surpassed its initial idea as “future tech” and is making a huge impact now.
  2. AI is promoting an efficient workplace. 
  3. Organizations are looking to capitalize on AI opportunities in order to optimize processes throughout their departments.

Is your organization still timid about the idea of AI adoption? Hiring a consultant to point out the many opportunities for the technology to meld into everyday processes is a great way to get started.

Are you part of an organization wherein AI as already been put in place? We’d love to hear about it. Tell us what processes have been automated or sped up thanks to AI technology in the comments below!

About the Author

Ronald Van LoonRonald Van Loon

Ronald is named one of the 3 most influential people in Big Data by Onalytica. He is also an author for a number of leading big data & data science websites, including Datafloq, Data Science Central, and The Guardian, and he regularly speaks at renowned events.

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