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In this blog, we will discuss a few essential steps that will allow you to implement AI in your business.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is gaining traction nearly in every field. From healthcare to business, every sector seems to be adopting AI for both primary and complex applications. The worldwide AI market is expected to increase by 39.4 percent in 2022. At this rate, it won’t be long before AI takes over the tech industry and becomes the most influential and widely adopted technology worldwide.
Whether we’re aware of it or not, we’re becoming accustomed to using AI technology in our daily lives, in the form of smartphone applications and smart assistants, for example. However, implementing AI in a commercial setting involves more complex technology and across a greater scale, which covers a range of systems and processes.
Many big companies, such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Tesla, have already implemented AI to sustain their systems for many years to come. At the same time, many small and medium firms are still wondering how they can incorporate artificial intelligence into their operations. However daunting it may seem, even the smallest business can embrace this cutting edge technology in their business for exceptional results.
Why Should your Business Adopt AI?
AI has a range of benefits for businesses of all sizes. One of the most obvious advantages involves this technology’s capacity to automate tasks. Every business has a range of recurring tasks that need to be done daily, weekly, or monthly.
These tasks often tedious, time consuming, and costly. Automating such tasks with the help of AI tools can save your business significant amounts of time and money, freeing up your staff to focus on projects that will increase revenues and grow your business.
Using AI technology also provides a range of intelligent solutions for your business that can take your operations to the next level. You can use machine learning tools to analyze big data, as well as leverage advanced tools such as deep learning and predictive analysis. All of these approaches can allow your business to effectively use data to make better decisions, provide better customer service, generate more leads through targeted marketing, enhance your cybersecurity, and streamline your supply chain.
Implementing AI in your Business
There are a number of barriers that deter business from adopting AI, from a lack of skills to a fear of the unknown and simply struggling to find a starting point.
However, it is relatively easy to adopt AI technology in just about any business. Here are a few essential steps that will allow you to implement AI in your business.
1. Understand the Basics
It's crucial to know what AI is before adopting it in your business. These days, there are a range of resources available that can help companies understand the value AI can offer to their business.
Take the time to check out some of the material available online to educate you on the fundamentals of AI. You could even sign up for online courses and workshops to learn about in-demand technologies like Machine Learning (ML) and predictive analysis and how they can be implemented in your business.
2. Identify your Key Problems
Once you have a basic level of knowledge, it's time to start thinking about how it may help your organisation thrive in the long run. Identify the issues that are plaguing your business and limiting your growth, whether it is outdated payment systems or inefficient HR software.
Next, investigate AI solutions that could help you to overcome these challenges. You can use succeessful businesses as an example of how you can use AI technology, or simply work from your business’ main pain points and look for the solutions to address these challenges.
For example, your business could be at risk of cyber attacks. This is a growing area of concern for small businesses, who may have previously thought they where less of a target than large companies, but 43% of cyber attacks actually target small businesses.
AI can help you to manage these risks, through malware and antivirus software that uses this technology to proactively identify and eliminate malicious links and phishing attacks before they even reach your employees.
3. Set Tangible Value as a Top Priority
After you've identified your biggest issues and how AI can help you solve them, the next step is to put your plan into action. However, before you dive into planning, it's a good idea to evaluate the business value that AI implementations will provide. Put your evaluations in a 2x2 matrix to help you discover more possibilities and prioritise first steps.
4. Know Your Internal Capacity
When you talk your business objectives and what your internal capabilities will allow you to do, there are always gaps. This is where knowing what your company can implement, especially within a specific time frame, is critical.
Implementing AI in your business processes is a great goal to have and a huge step forward. However, is your organisation equipped to implement it properly and fill in the gaps that could cause problems in the future? As with any new strategy, it’s important to be realistic and not bit of more than you can chew!
5. Take Experts On Board
When incorporating AI into your business processes, it's vital to keep your goals in mind and understand how AI might help or hinder you in different areas. This is where having folks on board who can offer their knowledge and experience with AI expertise can have a big impact.
It is not necessary to start with a large project. It's crucial to address each project step by step – the initial stages will help you to see whether everything will go as planned. Assemble a team of internal team members and external consultants focused on completing the project within a specific time frame.
While building your project team, make sure to include people from both inside and outside your company – employees who understand the business and external subject-matter experts will add value to the final product. Once the initial project is completed, you can start to think about more projects to implement AI in your business.
6. Integrate Data
The most crucial part of collecting high-quality data is to combine multiple data sets and compile the necessary data to meet the demands of machine learning. Implement AI with sample data will improve assessments.
It’s also important to examine the value it adds and extend it as necessary. After you've finished with the sample data, figure out how much data storage you'll need for the full project. This is critically important, because data needs to be stored before it can be processed. Furthermore, this can add up to high volumes of data across many years, so make sure you have a dedicated data storage system that incorporates long term goals.
7. Create a Dedicated Team
Although hiring AI experts to help you strategize, set up, and implement your projects is a good idea, you also need people in-house that can continue to run the show. If you want your business to make the most of AI technology, set up a dedicated data team that can make sure the data fed to the AI is clean.
This is important, because the results you get from AI will only every be as good as the data you feed it – if you give it messy or incorrect information, it will produce similar results.
This team could be responsible for tasks such as:
- Data cleaning
- Data processing
- Integration with AI software
- Predictive analytics
8. Implement AI in your Daily Operations
AI deployment can greatly improve the efficiency of your day-to-day business operations. However, it's important to remember that tech should be used to address business problems rather than merely eliminate human workers. You should equip your employees should to AI in their daily tasks in a way that not only makes their jobs easier, but also makes the end result more efficient and profitable.
For example, AI can be used to improve daily operations such as:
- Automating routine daily tasks such as invoice generation and issuing receipts once payments are recieved
- Using chatbots to provide quick responses to customer queries and eliminate customer service gaps
- Creating targeted marketing content such as personalized ads, email blasts, and personalized product recommendations to repeat website visitors
- Making warehouse and delivery operations more efficient – take Amazon’s use of AI to plan warehouse picks and delivery routes for example
- Generating tickets and routing complaints automatically to streamline customer queries and complaints procedures
- Creating customized training programs for new hires
Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help businesses identify solutions to challenges, achieve corporate goals, and take their business to new heights. According to statistics, implementing AI can increase a company’s revenue by 30%. However, it's important to know how to make the best use of this technology.
Bringing in someone with AI experience or outsourcing the project to an expert consultant is the best way to ensure successful implementation of AI in your business. It’s also crucial to keep in mind that although AI technology has a range of benefits, it is not an all-in-one solution to all your business’ needs. Integrate AI into your operations alongside other tools and processes, and as part of long-term strategic planning.
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