Artificial intelligence, more commonly known by its acronym AI, is now a technology that’s firmly rooted in businesses around the world. From more obvious examples like self-driving cars to data-driven sales platforms, AI is now everywhere.
Businesses that are moving towards AI quote reasons encompassing anything from driving data innovation to establishing a better strategy, demonstrating the range of applications that this technology has. Currently on track to reach $126 billion dollars by 2025, this industry shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
In this article, we’ll be pulling back the curtain on this tech, commenting on different applications of AI in business, and pointing to pathways that CEOs can follow to scale AI within their own companies.
Let’s get right into it.
How is AI Used in Business?
AI has taken the world of business by storm, with 95% of businesses suggesting that AI tech is “Important to their digital transformation efforts.” Long gone are the days of considering this technology something locked away in the future; AI is here – and seemingly to stay.
Although deemed important, why is this the case? Many industries are already turning to AI, having adopted this tech stack tool as a central force that drives their progress.
We’ll take a look at four central ways that AI is used currently in business.
- Customer Service
- Data Analysis
Let’s break these down further.
Every single interaction that a user takes on a business website is cataloged and turned into useful data that can be accessed. When it comes to personalization, these data files become the core driving factor that allows a business to create effective customized strategies.
This is especially seen in the eCommerce industry, with around 80% of customers actively engaging more in content that is personalized for them. By taking user data based on actions they take on an eCommerce site, AI tools can then better understand what a person is looking for.
The data they take can range from anything as bold as clicking on a project to even recording the time they spend on a particular page. These smaller facts, when collected together, allow AI to build up a picture of the customer, then giving them accurate recommendations that they’re statistically more likely to love.
One of the largest companies that make clear their use of AI for personalization is Netflix, with almost 80% of the site driven by personal recommendations. These are taken by AI after recording what programs and movies a person most frequently interacts with and enjoys, their experience on the platform then being shaped by these changes.
Personalization, thanks to AI, helps boost returns, increase profits, and ensure that every customer has a unique and fulfilling experience when dealing with a business.
AI is one of the leading factors for automation, more commonly known as business process automation. This is the term given to when a business will automate internal processes by turning to AI solutions. For example, a company could employ machine learning in order to move through data and create an accurate method for conducting a process.
One way that business process automation is being widely used is within the legal industry, with legal attorneys using these tools to comb through research, giving them more accurate results based on what they’re likely to be looking for.
Automation of this sort saves businesses time, leading to more productive employees, more effective procedures, and more thorough research.
Almost any time that you go onto a website nowadays, a little window will pop up and ask if you need any help. Although they state that a human is on the other side of this chart, the formulaic responses and incredible typing speeds suggest otherwise.
AI is now firmly rooted in customer service, with companies like Amazon turning to these solutions to streamline these methods. With governing rules and principles, AI can analyze speech and determine what the customer needs, guiding them through the process and ensuring they don’t take up employee time with something they can resolve themselves.
Additionally, AI can build up an instantaneous and broad understanding of different products and services that a business offers, making this system perfect for those looking for recommendations or advice. Things like refunds, order cancellations, and other processes can become completely handled by AI, boosting company efficiency and saving time for everyone.
Combining through data, collecting it, then analysing it is a process that can take a human days or even weeks at a time. AI, on the other hand, can process millions of data points instantaneously, drawing from multiple sources and fact-checking as it goes.
Incredibly, implementing an AI system to help with data analysis can save data engineers 70% of their time, effectively speeding them up by an additional 70% as they can focus on other tasks.
Due to the efficiency of AI, data analysis is now more accessible than ever, with cloud data warehouses like Redshift or Snowflake leading to huge sets of data becoming available in seconds. With these advances, businesses can now make more effective decisions, basing their ideas for progress on stable data rather than guesswork.
Instead of working towards success by trialling different strategies, data analysis will be able to examine the business, market, and industry trends in order to develop a more comprehensive strategy for your business.
AI has made a huge splash in businesses across the globe, with data being one of the central ways this has manifested.
How Can CEOs scale AI in their business?
While an element of incorporating Ai in business comes back to technical knowledge and application, much also rests on social and legacy options, with a willingness to embrace change being central for any business.
As a CEO, there are certain behaviours that can be focused on in order to help scale AI within your business. As you do so, you’ll be able to access the benefits of AI, boosting the efficiency of internal processes, developing refined processes, and streamlining the customer experience.
There are 3 central ways that CEOs can scale AI in their businesses:
- Invest in new roles that place AI at their centre
- Set the company-wide tone
- Identify data opportunities
Let’s break these down further.
Invest in New Roles
Without investment, businesses will find trouble starting any new endeavour. This is certainly the case for AI and machine learning, which might be completely new departments for some companies. If this is the case, the need to invest in new roles is paramount to scaling AI within your business.
Although AI is self-sufficient to a certain level, there still needs to be a team of users that are behind the machine, guiding its development and ensuring it’s doing what’s needed. As a CEO, you’re in an ideal position to create openings for mass-hiring that focuses on people that are suited for these roles.
Search for AI positions like machine learning experts and fill your IT team with them. Doing so will provide the foundation upon which everything else can build. Employee training and skilled workers are required to make any fundamental change in your business, so it’s always best to start here.
Set the Tone
As a CEO, what you say, normally, goes. With this position, you’ll be able to dismantle outdated notions that surround legacy technologies. While your business may have been doing things a certain way for a long period of time, that doesn’t mean that things can’t change.
On the contrary, ensuring that your company is willing to change and accept these new paces into AI is essential for putting you on the right path. Ensure that you address the company, pinpointing your reasons for adopting these alterations.
By providing a roadmap of goals and expectations for this technology, you’ll be able to get people on board towards supporting this scaling process.
Identify Data Opportunities
Data is one of the central benefits that can be harvested from the movement towards artificial intelligence. Instead of data analysis being a time-consuming process, it is suddenly an accessible tool that you can use to boost the efficiency of a vast range of your internal departments.
But, the first step towards effective data use is to identify where you want to create valuable data. As a CEO, you should have a goal in mind, then be able to work backward. Instead of producing data en-masse, your data engineers will then be able to have a more clear focus on where they need to guide the AI technologies.
Having a specific vision on where you want to end up will help to scale the effectiveness of your AI solutions as you can take a more direct route. Instead of building up the product in all areas, focus on those that are the most important to your business first. As a CEO, you’re in the perfect position to outline those priorities, focus your vision, and find those data opportunities that AI will grant.
An Accenture report states that 75% of executives believe that their businesses will fail within the next five years if they do not adopt AI technologies. Stating that AI is the future is misguided – it’s already here and making waves across every industry.
Instead of waiting, now is the time to take action and shift to a more advanced technology solution. By employing AI, your business will be able to make a radical shift to its internal processes and how it deals with external clients.
Yet, adopting new tech isn’t always an easy process. That’s why it’s vital for CEOs to take the lead and drive their own business firmly into this new digital age.
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