How to Leverage Artificial Intelligence in Business
Don’t know how to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) in business? Not sure where to apply it in a way that drives success or empowers your employees? There are many organisations in this position, but the reality is that all companies need to embrace more cutting-edge and innovative technologies if they are to enhance how they work and remain competitive in the years to come.
Our recent survey of more than 100 IT leaders and decision-makers across larger companies and enterprises in Ireland found that this shift is already in full swing with investment in AI on the rise and 63% of IT leaders expecting their spend to increase in 2024.
Among those enterprises investing in AI, the average cost for this year is anticipated to be approximately €436,500 – indicating a significant increase of 45% compared to the average estimated spend of €301,700 in 2023.
So, where should you leverage AI in business?
While the answer to this question will vary depending on the company and industry, customer service appears to be the most prominent area where AI is currently being leveraged, with over two thirds (68%) of enterprises using it for this purpose. Operations (42%) and cross-functional daily tasks (38%) rounded out the top three areas for AI application across enterprises in Ireland.
In other words, companies are deploying it for internal purposes to streamline operations and enable staff, as well as external activities involving customer service and support. This demonstrates its ability to enhance various areas of your business, not only aiding productivity but also service delivery and potentially company growth.
But why leverage AI in business?
The top five most cited benefits of AI were found to be improved staff productivity (59%), improved processes/workflows (56%), enhanced customer service (52%), reduced operating costs (44%), and improved data analytics/reporting (34%).
Through digitisation and automation, AI has the power to simplify and enhance your operations in a more cost-effective way. It also enables people to work smarter and faster, completing more tasks with greater accuracy and efficiency. Moreover, it could open up countless possibilities by allowing your organisation to better manage and leverage data, therefore supporting decision-making.
And could any challenges arise?
As with any technology, there are certain challenges you may have to address if you are to successfully embrace and leverage AI in your business. Revealed by our research, one of these is getting buy-in from senior management with almost half (48%) of IT leaders revealing that their senior management does not understand the potential of AI.
Governance is another issue, as more than three quarters (77%) of companies are concerned about this. You must also look at your in-house skills, with 61% of IT leaders believing that their team does not have the skills/knowledge to implement and adopt AI. Meanwhile, 70% of IT leaders cited data, privacy and security/ cited by as a barrier to AI adoption.
Okay, how to make it work?
One of the most important things to remember when it comes to leveraging AI in business is that the technology piece is only one part of the puzzle. You cannot neglect the supporting elements of education and strategy.
As well as having the right processes in place to properly govern and safeguard these technologies, you need to measure their impact and report on it – which will help with getting management buy-in and further investment.
In terms of staff, they need to be educated and trained so that they can confidently and effectively utilise AI. This will help to address any issues around trust or resistance, showing that such solutions have been developed and have the potential to assist their roles (not replace them). Working with trusted providers and vendors can also help to overcome any obstacles and maximise results.
Therefore, the secret to leveraging AI in business is planning. As for the importance, 59% of IT leaders believe their company needs to adopt AI in order to be competitive over the next three years and 46% say their organisation will lose market share/competitive advantage in the same time period if they don’t invest effectively in AI during that time. In other words, it’s time to get ahead of the curve.
Want to learn more about how you can leverage AI in business? Need to assess and adapt your AI strategy? Get in touch to speak to a Storm Technology expert.