How To Know If Your Business is Ready for AI
With more and more artificial intelligence (AI) solutions emerging each year, it's safe to say that this technology is here to stay. Statista predicts that the global AI market will be worth more than $10.5 billion by 2020, and forward-thinking businesses continue to incorporate AI into their everyday operations in the form of automation and customer service chatbots.
If your business hasn't yet jumped on the AI bandwagon, you might be wondering what you're missing -- and whether you really need to find out. While it's true that many businesses have found worthwhile use cases for this technology, it may not necessarily be the right time for your company to explore AI.
According to Forbes Technology Council members, here are nine questions to determine if artificial intelligence is a smart investment for your business right now.
1. Can I Improve My Operations And Marketing With AI-Powered Customer Data Analysis?
There are a number of opportunities to increase your business, improve products and explore new markets with big data and the resulting AI-produced business models. With the amount of client data being gathered and the relatively low price of building machine learning systems, now is the time to start analyzing customer demographics and buying patterns to tailor operations and marketing to fit. - Chris Kirby, Voices.com
2. Are My Customers Demanding An AI-Powered Experience?
What's seen as innovative today will be commonplace soon, so there is really no bad time to start experimenting with new technology. AI is now accessible and affordable. As long as there is a business need, and the technology is providing value. Consumer demands are trending in the direction of AI, so is it worth losing them to competition that offers a more personalized and seamless experience? - Sanjay Malhotra, Clearbridge Mobile
3. Am I Losing Customers To The Competition Because I Don't Use AI?
If your competitors are more attractive to customers, and more efficient and profitable than you because of AI, adopt it. Ask people if they have an Alexa sitting in their home doing nothing for them. It happens. Make sure your return on investment in AI will be high because there are still enough examples of these bots annoying people for it to be a questionable investment. - Arnie Gordon, Arlyn Scales
4. Do I Have A Specific Problem That AI Can Solve?
Most businesses are already using some form of AI, but it should not be utilized if it does not bring value to the company. AI has streamlined a long list of processes that can permit more focus to be on creative and core business practices instead of routine procedures. AI utilization is business/department/problem specific and therefore should be treated as such. - Alexandro Pando, Xyrupt
5. Do I Know What I Want To Achieve With AI?
As with any other much-discussed technology in recent memory, it's important to first start with the outcome you're hoping to achieve. Applying AI or machine learning simply for the sake of it is expensive and impractical. Additionally, because of the excellent open source AI tools available, it's possible to explore AI without having to make a hefty investment. - JC Grubbs, DevMynd
6. Can I Eliminate Repetitive Tasks With Automation?
If you don’t know how AI and automation could help your organization and customers, you’re already behind. To stay competitive, organizations need to understand the potential of AI, and then develop a point of view around how it can be applied to have the biggest impact. Often, that’s bringing in tools that can help employees intelligently automate repetitive, time-consuming business processes. - Andrew Lientz, smartsheet.com
7. Do I Understand The Step-By-Step Approach For Good AI Adoption?
As an AI startup, we've seen good and bad examples of adoption. What differentiates good from bad is a step-by-step process. They find enthusiastic, respected champions, cultivate a culture of experimentation, run a low-cost proof of concepts, get data in order, test exploiting it with partners and scale what works. It can cost little -- but it costs way less than inaction. - Simon Smith, BenchSci
8. Do I Have The Talent To Help Execute My AI Vision?
With AI becoming more commonplace, it is getting easier to find the talent that can help you execute your vision. I was wary of taking on a project since my linear algebra skills are rusty, but the right talent helped me overcome such fears as a technical manager. Our customers benefit from our product doing a basic analysis for them, and we benefit from having satisfied customers. - Tim Maliyil, AlertBoot
9. Can I Experiment With AI On A Small Scale Right Now?
Get out there and inform yourself. Research how AI is being used in and around your industry. Get your hands dirty with a small experiment using Azure ML, Google Cloud ML or Amazon SageMaker. Experimenting with simple algorithms will open your eyes to possibilities. By informing yourself you’ll be better prepared to identify opportunities and pitch solutions. - Tim Rendulic, Thomson Reuters