Everybody are talking about digital transformation and how different technologies are driving the change and digitization of organizations. It has been about two decades that digital wave is already shifted a lot of resources and took out a lot of established businesses. Of course, the message of "go digital or die" is keeping everybody awake at nights. While every body are thinking on how to go digital effectively and what technologies can make more deeper impact, Artificial Intelligence seems to be the dominant conversation among C-suite and become the center point of organizations strategy. AI is becoming the transformation rather than just being a technology tool.
AI as an enabler
AI is still in the infancy phase specially when it comes to enterprise and government sector. However, 82% pf enterprise AI early adopters are seeing a positive ROI form their production level project in 2018. On the other hand, 69% of enterprises are facing moderate or major or extreme skills gap in finding skilled associates to staff their new AI-driven business models and projects. All these statistics are coming form State of AI in the enterprise, 2nd edition by Deloitte (https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/focus/cognitive-technologies/state-of-ai-and-intelligent-automation-in-business-survey.html). The good news is early adopters are ramping up their AI investments, launching more initiatives and getting positive returns. Early adopters are using Machine Learning (ML), Deep Learning (DL), Natural Language Processing (NLP) and computer vision to build capabilities beyond products and services, but to change their business model and transform user experience.
At the moment, organizations in technology, media, entertainment and telecom are having high investment on AI and getting high returns as well. In contrast, life science and health care are still making high investments, but the return is not notable. Government and education sector are still behind the adoption of AI driven technologies and investments, however it has been predicted that they will catch up under smart city, smart government or smart university initiatives which are strategic road maps for these organizations.
The way that now organizations benefit form AI is varied as well. 44% of organizations are trying to enhance their current products and solutions. Less than half of companies are optimizing their existing internal operations and about one third are trying to bring AI into their decision making process and to make better decisions. Having said that, implementation is one of the main challenges that businesses are facing. Integration AI into current roles and functions is another major challenge and ironically this is what AI suppose to resolve.
So as can be seen, there are lot of challenges and hurdles on the way for an established organization to navigate to be able to fully utilize AI and gain competitive edge in the market place.
Organizations should sit down and think how they want to look like in 2 years or 3 years time. What type of services and products they want to offer and what types of customers they would like to have. What new markets they want to target and what their brand will look like. Then they can plan backward and explore how AI can fit into this broad strategy and what value or outcome they can expect. Based on these facts, they can start building proper capabilities within the organization and hire the rising stars and sharing their journey story with the public and play thought leadership role so other organizations perhaps be inspired.
Investment on Research and Development (R&D) will be the heart of this strategy as an "AI lab" which is focused on bringing cutting edge solutions will be crucial for the business in terms of attracting the top talent in AI industry and making a meaningful impact to the market as well.
Each of these new AI based solutions not only can be adopted inside the organization, but also can be productive and standardized and be sold to other organizations that are trying to compete. This can be a extra source of revenue for the efforts of "AI Lab" which can bring a reasonable ROI both for organization and the market place.
Re branding an established organization to "AI-Organization" and becoming a leader in this space will be the highest priority during the transition as well. Organizations should adjust their messaging and marketing activities so that they can create the demand and solution for the new world and making sure that when everybody are getting there, they are already standing on the top and leading the conversation.