Masses of today’s technologies will play a role in an organization’s journey to digital transformation, but artificial intelligence (AI) technology may be the one that drives the most success. According to IDC, “40 percent of all DX initiatives will be related to AI by the end of 2019,” as it will add value to the data derived from digital transformation initiatives.
It’s one thing for enterprises to adopt AI technologies to get the most out of their data, but how they do it is another story. Companies must implement an organized, well-planned AI strategy that is aligned with the goals of the company as a whole. Research conducted by IDC highlights four steps your AI strategy needs to succeed:
1. Ensure Business Goals and AI Strategy are Aligned
Before developing an AI strategy, you must define your business goals first. Whether the goal is to improve workplace efficiency or productivity, you should consider the many benefits of AI and how those benefits align with your organization’s goals. According to IDC, the benefits of AI are faster work completion, improved quality of work, and automation of routine tasks.
IDC recommends using your AI strategy and resources to achieve long-term success and competitive advantage: “AI is transformative, so you don’t want to expend the time and resources to just align your AI strategy to a short-term business goal.”
2. Rich Data Sets
Rich data sets are key to strategy execution. Think beyond just computing power and machine learning, because the most competitive advantage lies in data, whether it’s proprietary data or from other sources. IDC says, “it is crucial to ensure that you are working with high quality data, and are following secure governance guidelines to protect your proprietary data and to safeguard third party data.”
3. Update Business Processes
Well-established companies will need to update all of their business processes in order to successfully execute their AI strategy. IDC wants you to consider the following:
- Make sure your company is upgrading all processes within the system, not just one. This is how you drive real value.
- Promote organizational change and “retool existing staff to support more strategic initiatives and fill in skill gaps.” If you’re establishing an AI team, ensure that the people “have a general understanding of AI and people who can understand and work with data and programmers.”
- If you’re buying AI as a service from companies in the market, consider your data’s privacy and protect it.
AI is no different from other technologies in regards to the potential for misuse. Basically, AI can inherit biases from the humans developing them. According to IDC, “instances of bias are found in image searches, hiring software, financial searches, and so forth.” For this reason, ethics should be part of your AI strategy.