AI models played a significant role in evaluating the components of the COVID-19 virus and developing vaccines. AI is being used in smart buildings to manage energy efficiency. Robo-taxis are on the streets in several cities in China. Mountains of data are being analyzed in unsupervised learning to reduce bias in scientific studies.
Artificial intelligence has rapidly gone from science fiction to reality.
Implications for Business Strategy
AI has the potential to both transform and upend businesses. Executives at all levels need to understand the implications and how it can affect their businesses.
To future-proof businesses, leaders may not need to understand the technical nature of how AI works or how to implement the technology behind it but they need to know what AI can do and how it can drive their business forward. This includes an understanding of the basics of AI including:
- Capabilities and limitations of AI
- Supervised and unsupervised learning
- Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP)
- Neural networks and deep learning
- Computer vision
- Building and managing AI teams
- Predictive analysis
- No code/Low code platforms
Most importantly, executives need to learn how AI and emerging technologies can create business transformations and what needs to be done to prepare. With nearly nine out of 10 leading businesses already investing in artificial intelligence, adoption has become widespread. Business leaders need a firm grasp of how AI will impact their business, competitors, and industry.
Learning About AI and Business
Many of the top business schools in the country are offering executive training courses to help business leaders prepare for AI’s impact.
There is an AI course to teach professionals how to apply AI and machine learning to business strategy. Participants will learn what they need to transform organizations into innovative and sustainable businesses for the future.
Implementing AI in Your Business
Experts believe AI will become a prime driver in nearly every industry at different levels. Companies will need to embrace the potential of AI to stay competitive and offer better, more efficient customer experiences.
Implementing AI-enhanced tools will start with a solid strategy. Business leaders need to set clear goals and plan both the operational aspects of deployment and the impact on the human workforce. At the lowest levels, AI can handle many manual jobs that people are required to do now. This can free up employees to handle more sophisticated work. At the higher levels, AI can work together with employees to create deeper insights.
As with any business plan, setting realistic expectations and measurable outcomes are key. AI won’t fix every problem in a business. Leaders should examine specific use cases for their business with an eye towards feasibility and ROI. Executives should be looking at whether a move towards AI can enhance revenue, increase productivity and efficiency, provide better customer experiences, or provide expense savings.
Many companies are already taking advantage of AI for automating processes. For example, automation in marketing can use AI to determine patterns of website visitors to trigger marketing follow-ups to help generate leads. Based on user responses, it can create a series of nurturing outreach attempts to drive buyers through the customer journey. AI is also being used in cybersecurity to recognize anomalies that humans might miss and take proactive action to thwart threat actors.
Executive also need to understand that AI is about more than just technology. The data science behind AI may represent just 10-20% of the changes that may have to occur within an organization for implementation. The rest is depending on workflow and how employees embrace (or don’t embrace) the technology. Organizational issues can derail execution if change management isn’t part of the business plan.
Finally, AI doesn’t work as a stand-alone technology. Neither does any other technology. All of it needs to be part of an overall business strategy that is clearly aligned with strategic objectives. Executive teams must work together to create a roadmap for AI with an understanding of how technology can improve organizations to meet business goals.
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