By employing the right AI technology for your business, you can accelerate growth. But business leaders should not forcefully include AI in their operations; instead, they should find specific workflows in which AI can provide maximum value. For instance, if you are in a restaurant business, you might want to use AI to generate weekly analytics by processing electronic bills.
Many executives have a trust issue with up-and-coming technologies like AI regarding how they will fit into their business ecosystem. If you’re interested in adopting AI but aren’t sure whether or where it can fit into your business, below are steps to help kick-start the process of using it in your workflow.
Identify the areas of your business where AI can provide maximum value.
A business is a complex set of processes intertwined with one another that runs like a well-oiled machine, so integrating new technology into an existing workflow is not straightforward. Implementing AI comes at a cost, and thus, a value analysis is essential to make sure your investment gives you maximum return.
First, understand the need for AI in your business. For instance, Domino’s uses AI as part of its infrastructure to improve its pizza delivery.
To find out whether your business can benefit from AI, ask yourself a few basic questions:
• On what scale is your business digitized? Digitization in business involves converting a raw form of data to a digital format. This can include images, numbers, etc. Digitization can help a business to scale. For instance, if a shopkeeper is selling garments locally, then the business’s reach is limited to a specific demographic. On the contrary, if the shopkeeper decided to digitize by building a website, the business could reach out to more people, sell more garments and expand. One example of the potential benefits of digitization is Target, which saw its stock rise 66% over its 8-year digital transformation efforts.
Digitization brings monetary benefits and helps track various critical areas of the business to reduce risks such as account settlement, finance management, inventory management, etc. One would require immense human resources to do all these tasks.
AI is powerful when we provide it with the right amount of digitized data. The potential of AI lies in finding hidden patterns in data that are not obvious to a human. Hence, digitized data provides a vital role in transforming business using AI. If your company lacks digital data generation, it probably doesn’t require AI in the first place.
• What are the different forms of digital data that your company collects, and how do you store them? If AI is a car, then digital data is the fuel.
• For the investment of time and money required, would AI provide a better return over time?
Talk to your engineers to understand how AI can solve your business’s problems.
Engineers bring a different perspective to your business challenges and can help with valuable suggestions. Consult with your in-house engineers to understand the scope of a particular problem and the time frame to solve it. It is crucial to take their advice before setting any commitments because they know the depth of the problem.They can also help you narrow the intended scope of AI in your business and then help you start the development process.
Determine the implications of AI on your revenue model.
For any business, revenue is a crucial indicator of growth. The identified use cases for AI and their expectations should be analyzed to ensure they do not limit growth in the long term.
Understand the cost implications of AI on your business.
AI is still in its growing phase. Every year, we see significant improvements and active research in AI. Despite that, it would be naive to consider it as a low-cost proposition. The cost implication depends on your use case, but it will not come at a low price. For instance, the internet was expensive during its developing phase. If your business can afford an AI-based solution that can provide a decent value proposition and increased efficiency, you should opt for it.
Figure out whether AI will help your employees.
Employees are central to the success of any organization. AI can automate workflows, improve decision-making and generate insights that can help employees focus on more complex tasks. For instance, in a call center, workers can benefit from AI handling simple language queries without human interference. It can also help in identifying and avoiding spam calls. Chatbots are another great example, which is a norm in the service industry these days. There are infinite possibilities where AI can help the workforce and not replace it.
Consider the legal and ethical implications of implementing AI.
Keep in mind that AI is an emerging technology. It is changing at a rapid pace and may pose some unexpected challenges and ethical concerns. There is an ongoing debate about the ethics of AI and on what level it should be regulated. You need to make sure your business is not affected by such external forces.
Enhance your AI learning.
A common misunderstanding about AI among business owners is that AI is capable of solving any problem with less or no human intervention. The current state of AI is nowhere near general intelligence. To realize the true value proposition of AI in your business, keep yourself up to date on current advancements in AI.
Invest as little as possible initially, and try to get a working prototype ready. When testing an AI solution, set short-term milestones, and analyze the progress. It is essential to enhance your understanding of AI through this process and have confidence once you know its challenges. If you want to accelerate your business growth using AI, you should be willing to learn and adapt to changes quickly.