Globally, businesses are facing the heat of offering innovative solutions to engage and delight customers. To make themselves relevant, brands and enterprises are adopting unique strategies powered by advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence.
More than 78% of the businesses have already adopted some form of AI strategy or are actively planning to integrate AI in their business processes. The rising interest in AI and allied technologies has made the artificial intelligence software development market one of the fastest-growing segments with predictions to reach a level of USD 120 billion by 2025.
Building an AI strategy for a Business
AI has the power to transform conventional business processes and take global enterprises to the next level. From automation and optimization of business processes to intelligent decision making, AI has a lot of potentials that businesses can harness for enhanced efficiency and higher productivity.
Without riding the AI tide, businesses are vulnerable to the danger of falling behind competitors and lose their competitive edge. Hence, an AI strategy is critical for the future growth of an organization.
But what should you focus on while building an AI strategy? How should it be different from your analytics strategy? What should be your long-term goals? How to leverage technology for aligning to your business interests? In this blog, we’ll give you some critical points that should serve as a foundation for your AI strategy.
Role of Business Strategy in AI Development
First and foremost, you must align your AI strategy to your core business strategy. Your business strategy should be revisited when you are planning to incorporate AI into your business. You would not want AI to keep chasing obsolete and irrelevant business goals.
So, before you start with an AI strategy, make sure to review your business strategy for relevance in the current business scenario.
Long & Short-Term AI Priorities of a Business
Once your business strategy is realigned, you should focus on how AI can help you achieve your business goals in the long and short run. To understand this aspect, you should ask yourself about:
- Your top business priorities
- The problems you are trying to solve
- How AI can help in solving the problems for your business
At this stage, you will be able to find out the possible use cases for AI adoption in your business. Based on the above parameters, you will be able to ascertain:
- Which AI-based products or services you need to develop?
- Which business processes to transform into smart/intelligent workflows?
- Which tasks to automate for freeing up your human resources?
Once you are through with the process, you need to have an implementation strategy for the short-term. Identify the processes which can be automated/optimized quickly. Talk to your internal teams on the steps they can take to fulfill your long-term business goals in a better way.
These insights will help you discover how to prioritize your AI adoption and workflow for optimal fulfillment of business goals.
Data Collection Strategies
By the time you have discovered use cases and set adoption priorities, your business would need data to fulfill your AI adoption goals. You can think of data as the fuel that drives AI engine. You would require a lot of data to make the most out of AI technologies.
To make sure you have proper and relevant data, you will have to review your data strategy. If you don’t have a data strategy, its better you start building one right away. To make your AI adoption process successful, you will be required to ponder over the following:
- Does your business have relevant data for successful AI adoption?
- Is the data enough for AI implementation?
- How will you gather data if you don’t have the same?
- Is there a need to find new ways to collect data on your own? If yes, how will it be done?
Your data strategy will play a pivotal role in the success of your AI adoption drive. If your data strategy is refined, you will also end up having a holistic AI development and adoption strategy for your business.
Legal & Ethical Issues
Artificial Intelligence is also a controversial field, at present. Humans- particularly employees, despise intelligent machines as they feel machines will replace their jobs. Moreover, your customers might also raise data privacy concerns if you start using AI.
Your AI adoption strategy must be ethical and legal in the current context. Many regions across the globe are quite serious about how businesses can use data. GDPR has made it hard for businesses to perform data analytics with the help of third parties.
You will need to find answers to the following questions to stay ethical and legal in your practices:
Are your data and AI strategies invading a stakeholder’s privacy?
What will be your consent mechanism to collect data for feeding your AI engines?
Are there any ethical issues that might surface from regular use of AI into your business practices?
Globally, there are several outcry movements by trade unions and humanitarian groups about how AI should be integrated in business processes. You need to make sure that your AI development strategy doesn’t offend any of your stakeholders.
When you have decided to go the AI-route for your business, you will have to make strategic investments in upgrading your tech infrastructure. To make sure you harness the true potential, you should have a clear idea about the technologies you need to achieve your goals.
Check if your existing IT infrastructure is equipped with the right technologies. If you don’t have the right systems in place, you should think of implementing the policies and infrastructure for resolving technology conflict and issues.
Skills & Capabilities of Existing Workforce
While planning for AI development in your organization, you need to keep in mind the skills and expertise of your existing workforce. If your employees are not acquainted with AI/ML and associated technologies, you might need to train them before you kick off the implementation process.
It is better to identify the skill gaps, plug the gaps through training and hiring new staff, raise awareness and take steps for AI skill development within the organization. By keeping your workforce and your goals on the same page, you can take greater advantage of Artificial Intelligence technologies.
When your goals are aligned, you have technologies in place and your workforce is skilled, you need to think about the implementation plan. This is one of the most important part of your AI strategy. You will have to decide on the steps you need to take on-ground for AI implementation, how it will change your business processes and who will be responsible for onsite implementation.
Your implementation plan will have a phenomenal impact on the bottom line as this is the part where your AI investments will begin to show results. So, it is better to streamline the implementation plan with your goals, right from the beginning.
Managing Change Management Issues
Humans are naturally aversive to change, no matter how big or small it is. Implementing AI in your workflows is a major change to your business activities. So, naturally, there would be change management issues that you will have to deal with.
Instead of adopting an on-spot strategy, you should have basics clear about the teams that will be impacted by AI implementation, how to prepare team members for the change and what should be done to make employees comfortable.
As AI will strongly influence your company’s work culture, you should also think of how the management will deal with the cultural shift and how will they influence the teams to work in a transitioning environment.
If you work strategically, giving weightage to all the above aspects, your AI development and implementation strategy will turn out to be more comprehensive. Further, you might require the support of a professional AI development company to nurture your AI strategy with relevant industry insights. It is always better to bring external experts on-board for a major strategic decision like AI implementation in your business.
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