The field of artificial intelligence has moved well beyond an emerging technology and now represents a bountiful opportunity for companies willing to bring AI into their corporate fold. But while AI might be finally hitting its stride for many enterprises, there are others who are slow to adopt it. Those organizations are at risk of letting this exciting revolution pass them by.
Follow this short checklist to see where you currently stand in AI adoption and what the warning signs are that you’re falling behind.
1. Your Executives See AI As Futuristic Fantasy
For many, the term “AI” conjures up images of futuristic technology and the promise of a strange intelligence that exceeds our own limits. And while fundamentally that’s true, the future is now. The promise of AI has been around for many years, but now the tipping point has come, and managers who overlook AI in the enterprise will be missing out. AI spending is expected to reach $46 billion by 2020, according to an IDC report, and global business value derived from AI is projected to total $1.2 trillion in 2018, an increase of 70 percent from 2017, according to Gartner. AI brings a massive opportunity that companies and consumers are enjoying even today, as you’ll see more deeply below.
2. You’re Too Worried About AI-driven Job Losses
One of the most talked-about potential drawbacks of AI in the future is AI-prompted employee churn and job losses. Some fear that automation created by AI will force workers out of the enterprise. But a Gartner study predicts net AI-driven job growth in 2020, with 2.3 million jobs created by AI vs. 1.8 million jobs eliminated. This net job growth is the complementary combination of human and AI activities. It is further reported that AI will improve the productivity of many skilled jobs, eliminate “on the job” trained positions, and create millions of new positions in highly skilled management positions, as well as entry-level and low-skilled jobs.
3. Live Reps Do All of Your Customer Service
Companies typically agonize over where service and support teams should be located and how to train them to connect and engage well with customers. But smart companies are looking beyond human interaction. An HBR study reports that 44 percent of consumers actually prefer chatbots to humans for customer relations. AI-driven chatbots are designed to solve common customer inquiries en masse and eliminate the need for excessive service and support sourcing, hiring, training and re-training. More than 90 percent of early stage startups are planning to use AI and machine learning to deliver better customer experiences, according to TechCrunch.
4. AI Isn’t Your Cyber Watchdog
AI is also great at identifying threats to your internal infrastructure. With cyber crime rapidly on the rise, AI can be leveraged to catch hackers and cyber criminals at lightning speed and efficiency. According to ESG research, 12 percent of enterprises have already deployed AI-based security analytics extensively, and 27 percent have deployed AI-based security analytics on a limited basis. More findings in the research: 29 percent want to use AI-based cyber security to accelerate incident detection; 27 percent want it to accelerate incident response; 24 percent want it to help identify and communicate risk to the business, including software vulnerabilities and configuration errors; and 22 percent want it to better understand situational awareness to provide unified view of security status for CISOs.
5. Sales and Marketing Aren’t Using Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics has been a boon for marketers who want to get a better handle on customer buying behavior and sales teams who want to build more accurate forecasts. AI is playing an enhanced role in both fields. According to a Garter report, 30 percent of all companies will employ AI to augment at least one of their primary sales processes by 2020. And 58 percent of enterprise business executives are already using predictive analytics within their organizations. When sales and marketing team up to leverage AI on collaborative selling processes, they are positioned to sell more, faster and retain customers better.
6. You’re Missing the Low-hanging Fruit in Process Improvements
AI is impacting so many parts of the business, it’s hard to keep track of. Software developers like SAP will streamline back office activities with AI, such as automatically pairing invoices with incoming payments or predicting the dynamics of contract renewals ahead of time. Besides, developer Oracle can help optimize supplier terms and rethink supply chain management by making it more adaptive and dynamic. Moreover, digital transformation itself is being enhanced by AI. IDC predicts that by 2019, 40 percent of digital transformation initiatives and 100% of IoT initiatives will be supported by AI capabilities.
It’s time for companies to realize that the AI revolution is upon us, and it’s here to stay. If you’re not addressing these areas as urgently as your competitors, you may be watching them cross the finish line from the back of the pack. Take the first step by upskilling your staff in AI and machine learning technologies with the help of a trusted online training provider. Courses like Machine Learning and Deep Learning will help your managers and executives acquire the knowledge to develop AI strategies that will keep you several steps ahead of the competition.