Why can we Observe Rise of AI in Companies
To say that Covid gave businesses a digital shove in the right direction would be an understatement. Overnight many organisations adapted a completely digital and remote way of doing business. This digital push inevitably led to the rise of AI within companies. But what exactly is AI and how and why does it feature within businesses?
What is AI?
AI stands for Artificial Intelligence and is probably one of the most descriptive names in tech. It simulates the intelligence displayed by living creatures (both animals and humans) in machines. Most often this refers to computer systems.
Examples of AI for companies
Although many of us immediately see human-like, murderous robots when talking about AI (thanks Hollywood). AI is not some technological advancement we have to wait for way into the future. In fact, most businesses and individuals are using AI without even realising it. Here are just a few examples of AI for companies that are already generally in use:
- Spam filters
- Voice to text apps & software
- Smart PA’s (Siri, Alexa etc.)
- Automated Responders
- Language recognition
- Personalisation of social media news feeds and product recommendations based on behaviour
- Security surveillance features
- Self-driving vehicles in regards to automated sensors detecting obstacles
These are just a few examples and you can already see that AI is prevalent in the day-to-day processes of a company or individual. It’s therefore also no surprise to find AI in consulting and when a consultant is making recommendations for a client.
Why use AI for companies?
AI holds many benefits for businesses and these benefits alone have been a reason for the rise of AI and AI consulting over the years:
The rise of AI during a global pandemic
As previously mentioned, Covid had a massive impact on businesses adopting AI. In fact, studies show that 52% of companies decided to fast-track their AI plans due to the pandemic. One company even took their 5 year plan and had it implemented in just 6 months. Once again it’s no surprise why AI in consulting has also increased ten-fold.
Although many are still a bit skittish in regards to AI (remember the Hollywood killer robots?) with 88% stating that AI is something that needs to be managed closely. 74% of executives agree that it’s the way forward. This rapid increase of AI tech within businesses not only aided many during a time many companies would describe as a critical and crisis moment, but it also helped owners, management and consultants learn valuable lessons:
Analytics reign supreme
There is a lot of power in digital data. And if you start running that data through AI engines and algorithms you sit with a wealth of knowledge regarding your customer. This information can be used to optimize a number of things in a business; processes, marketing, sales, product/service innovation. All of this will, of course, also lead to an increase in revenue which is the life blood of any business.
Skills shortages doesn’t need to be a problem
Skills shortages are a massive problem all across the world. This can be due to many reasons such as that not many have that specific skill/education to start with or it can be because of a generation gap where certain valued employees get left behind technologically. In the past this posed a big conundrum, because do you spend thousands on upskilling an employee, only to have them leave and take their new skills to another company? Or do you let the employee go and hire an already skilled one? And will you even be able to find one with the necessary skills? These questions and others have been plaguing employers for years. Cue AI. The technology with its tools, software, apps etc. is now taking the place of unskilled labour, cost-effectively.
AI launches start-ups
By using AI technology and data, start-ups can now target very specific markets and customers enabling them to rocket to success much faster than the start-ups that’s gone before them.
AI can solve supply chain problems
Team members waste a lot of time and energy on trying to solve supply chain disruptions and problems. By utilising AI, it can not only take care of making the necessary analysis in order to find solutions, but it can actually be used to implement the solutions as well. This gives team members the time to focus and work on other things.
Will AI completely replace the human workforce?
When it comes to AI in consulting this is the one question consultants get asked the most – from employees and employers alike. The easy answer is this: ‘till the day that AI can build machines that replicate the intelligence of humans and animals, it is simply not possible for AI to completely replace human intervention and interaction. It’s a two-edged sword. AI eliminates human error, but as a piece of technology it’s open to bugs and glitches. AI can take over certain jobs and tasks, but only up to a point and someone needs to oversee this.
So when asked about AI in consulting and concerns are raised, it’s important to remember that AI can definitely help streamline and automate processes, it can aid businesses in gaining customers and a competitive advantage to increase revenue and it can take care of a number of employee issues and lower employee expenses significantly, but it will definitely not be able to completely take over all employee jobs and tasks. AI should rather be seen as a more effective solution in conjunction with skilled team members.