It’s no secret that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to have a tremendous impact on the way we do business in the future. In fact, in many sectors it already is. The data on the coming wave of AI integration is clear: according to Gartner 37% of organizations have already implemented AI in some form, which marks a 270% increase over a four year period.

AI is also becoming a lot more accessible to businesses beyond just those in the enterprise. That means that very soon many, if not most, of your company’s competitors will be deploying AI solutions to develop and hone a competitive edge.

So if your company is not among the 37% who have already implemented AI, all of this might mean that 2020 is the year you finally do so, embracing AI’s capabilities to increase productivity, enhance organizational efficiency, and deliver better service and experiences to your customers. If you think you’re ready to dip your toe into the world of AI, we’ve laid out some tips to get you started below.

Areas where AI can benefit your business

There are a myriad of ways that AI can impact your business’ bottom line. Below we outline four keys areas that are ripe for transformation through strategic AI implementation.


  • Customer service: Conversational interfaces are one of the most visible forms of AI technology. You’d be hard-pressed to shop online these days without encountering a chatbot designed to help you find what you need more efficiently. Conversational AI can’t replace human customer service but it can do a lot of heavy lifting to augment it. Many consumers now say they prefer chatbot customer service to other available options.


  • Process optimization - Though it might not have the same buzzworthiness of, say, self-driving air taxis, process optimization is a huge win for businesses. AI has tremendous potential to help businesses optimize operations by training machines to perform tasks that are tedious or difficult for humans to complete.


  • More efficient identification of cyber threats - Cybercrime is a growing problem for business. The frequency of attacks against businesses is on the rise and the cost of recovering from these attacks can be crippling. What’s more, SMBs are the most frequent targets of such attacks, and they’re more likely to lack sufficient security and funds to limit the damage. The good news is that AI is increasingly available to proactively identify threats as they happen, which can help businesses minimize the impact of such events.


  • Personalization - Another area where AI shines is in enabling businesses to create personalized experiences that meet the increasingly high expectations of consumers. Think of Netflix, Amazon, and Spotify, all of which use AI to make highly personalized and accurate recommendations to users.

Tips for success rolling out new AI solutions:


Embracing and implementing AI solutions for your business takes careful planning and requires a strategic rollout. The process can’t take place overnight and it pays to be smart about how you manage it. A few things to keep in mind:


  • Don’t do everything at once - It’s tempting to want to dive in and implement every system or solution at once, but doing so risks overwhelming employees and existing systems. A staggered rollout is usually the best solution as it ensures new technology is phased in without causing undue disruption to business operations.


  • Work to achieve buy-in - One of the biggest hurdles to meaningful AI integration within most organizations is a lack of internal buy-in. Making the case for how AI systems will improve performance and streamline workflows across all departments is key to keeping employees actively engaged in rollout and implementation.


  • Outline benchmarks to evaluate performance - Tracking the ROI of AI implementations is key to making a continued case for its use. Setting regular timelines to evaluate the performance of your solutions will help your business identify areas where AI is contributing to the bottom line, and areas where it isn’t performing to expectations.


Final thoughts


Incorporating AI as part of an existing business strategy takes a not insignificant investment of time and resources, but as consumers grow increasingly accustomed to AI-powered experiences, taking this leap may quickly become a matter of survival. Implemented effectively, AI solutions have the power to transform your business by optimizing workflows, enabling more efficient customer service, and thwarting cyberthreats at the earliest possible opportunity.


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