How Your Company Can Prepare for the Coming AI Revolution

Perhaps “revolution” is too strong a word. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) applications have been gradually taking on more management responsibilities for years. That trend is clearly accelerating. That's why it may appear revolutionary in retrospect, especially to companies left behind. While the AI revolution is not characterized by a massive and sudden change, it does involve various markets reorganizing themselves around companies that use AI to achieve surges in productivity. That's what the World Economic Forum meant when it concluded last year that AI is initiating the “4th Industrial Revolution.” Here are some of the actions your business can take now to get ahead of the curve.

Specific Areas for Immediate Research

There are several applications that deserve attention in the year ahead. Gartner's Symposium/ITxpo identified the most significant AI trends that will impact businesses in 2017. That list includes: Natural Language Processing (NLP) This is how customers will interact with apps as keyboards go away. Devices connected as part of the Internet of Things (IoT) will be too small for any other interface. The smartphone is growing into a universal voice controller for customers to use in controlling their environments. Blockchain A company-specific distributed ledger that records transactions from peer-to-peer will make possible a host of new concepts in business services. This will reset how companies deal with any sort of value transfer, including practices in security, identity verification, accounting, supply chain and equity distribution. Mesh app and service architecture (MASA) Omnichannel has been the leading challenge of marketing teams, and MASA is the operational equivalent. It defines the back-end services required to present customers with a fluid experience as they interact with companies on and offline.

AI in the Years Ahead

The following four areas are where the influence of AI and machine learning will make the drive to be the biggest changes in the years to come. Those areas are how consumers expect to be treated, what types of upgrades have become standard, how internal business units collaborate, and how projects managers organize their resources. Each offers businesses a route to incorporate greater operational efficiencies and customer engagement as AI applications evolve.

4 Ways Businesses Can Use AI

Consumer Expectations Customer-centricity means finding meaningful patterns in customer data and generating new offerings based on that analysis, rather than through traditional product development cycles. Impressions emerge from conversations in social networks and online path to purchase actions. Instead of pain points, the new product developers work from what ranks highest in improving relevancy and brand perception. Service Upgrades All kinds of devices from watches to thermostats now includes AI software that anticipates behavior and reacts to individual preferences. Digitization also has come to service offerings like streaming video, predicting what customers will want to watch next. AI helps manufacturers determine which materials are more durable, when inventories are running low and the priorities of machine maintenance. Collaboration Across Time Zones Based on the above two changes, the speed of decision-making has had to increase. Supply chains have gotten much longer as AI has knocked down barriers in transportation and logistics networks. Collaboration tech has had to keep up with this speed, establishing a foundation of financial data normalized across currencies and accounting principles. Organizational Behavior Global collaborations demand new business models and original ways of coordinating project teams. Talent sourcing, a more productive company culture and repeatable innovation initiatives have all been enhanced with AI software.

The New Market Leaders

It doesn't take predictive analytics to see that companies with smarter targeting and lower costs will win their markets. The industries that have already seen the greatest disruption, such as media, retail, transportation and financial services, are those where AI has vastly increased the speed of information. In those industries, the new market leaders operate lean organizations that offer customers entirely new channels for getting what they want. If you want to learn more about AI, contact us today or visit our website.

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