What does your company risk by doing nothing with AI
AI went a long way from the movie imaginations of the scary and murderous Skynet in Terminator movies or the ruthless machine world of the Matrix trilogy. In the ‘real world’, it’s a tool used by businesses, researchers, artists, and many other fields to elevate and simplify the things they do. How does Artificial Intelligence accomplish this goal? Seth Robinson, a Senior Director of Technology at CompTIA said the following about AI:
We're no longer asking computers to produce a defined result every time, but to produce an undefined result based on general rules. Understanding this difference can be challenging.
AI for many people is a new technology, still to be embraced by the overall public. Its potential for growing businesses, however, is already being extensively explored. In its use of data to produce precise results, the only risk lies in not applying it to your operations. It’s exactly the risk of doing nothing with AI, that we’re going to talk about in this article. As an emerging tech, Artificial Intelligence has a fair share of skeptics - we’d like to devote this space to showcase both the risks of ignoring AI, as well as potential rewards for future-forward companies.
Better sooner than later
Implementing AI into your company is by no means an easy feat. A lot of Artificial Intelligence projects fail before they are able to take off and, since it’s still a new technology, there is not really a playbook for companies looking to get into it. That makes creating and applying such tech a difficult task. A bigger risk, however, comes from entirely avoiding AI. Why is that? Simple - getting started with AI does not happen overnight. Every business is unique, and any changes based on Artificial Intelligence have to be individually developed to suit its needs. Then, these solutions need to be integrated into your normal operations, which requires training your people how to work with an AI. All of this takes time, and whichever point in time you decide to get started, you will have to go through the entire process anyway. Data is key when it comes to AI. Not just any data, though. Good quality pieces of information that are structured correctly are what’s necessary as a foundation to any Artificial Intelligence strategy. A great way you can help yourself, in the long run, is by starting to collect it in the right structure as soon as possible. It will enable you to get started on developing AI solutions faster, and, ultimately, to create solutions that suit your business’s needs. Better sooner than later! Tapping into AI means growing your company in line with the latest and most rapidly developing technologies. In the long run, it will allow you to react to any new developments in a more mature and agile way, making the most of what’s to come. What is more, research has shown that only around 10-20% of businesses have adopted some form of AI in their operations. That percentage rises the bigger the companies get, with 24.9% of businesses employing more than 250 people implementing Artificial Intelligence solutions. Given its potential to drive conversions and ease the burden of setting up repetitive processes, the data may come as a surprise. However, companies should see it as a chance to shape their competitive advantage instead. Right now, around 70-75% of retailers plan on investing in various branches of AI and 88% would do so out of a sense of urgency. This data shows that the landscape of Artificial Intelligence might soon change and it will certainly favor early adopters!
Your competition thinks the same way as you. They likely face similar problems and challenges. And they probably have already heard about using AI. Are they using it? Are they planning to implement it? Maybe they’re in the process? The later you join in, the better your competition might have integrated AI-backed solutions in their operations. This will only make the challenge of catching up tougher. This anxiety and fear of falling behind, especially against new entrants, are what fuel 75% of companies implementing AI. Interestingly, only 5% invest in these technologies to reduce the costs of running the business. The thing with AI is, it doesn’t necessarily lead to cheaper operations, but rather to increased revenue, because of its ability to improve customer experience. This, in turn, translates to customer retention and loyalty, which in the world of eCommerce, means everything. In this way, AI makes you more competitive, as in the 2020s, customers will choose businesses based on more than a range of products available or their price. They are not just willing to pay more if their experience is good - they will abandon stores that don’t meet their standards. Since AI powers the processes, which largely define the good customer experience, you risk losing clients by doing nothing with it, regardless of how amazing your products are or how many discounts you’re willing to give.
Losing out on the best talent
AI is powered by two things: data and code. Being a rapidly developing field, it naturally attracts top talent. In 2019 LinkedIn called Data Scientist the most promising job of that year, and in 2020’s Glassdoor’s Best Jobs in America, it took third place. Both reports cited high salaries, great job satisfaction, and plenty of open positions. The same goes for Software Development-related positions with high demand and great compensation. Not surprisingly, AI-related occupations attract the best talent from all over the world. If you’re applying Artificial Intelligence solutions in your company, you stand a good chance of working with top specialists in their field. Not doing so - well, that’s pretty self-explanatory!
It’s less complicated than you think
‘Doing something’ with AI might sound like you have to have an in-house team devoted to Artificial Intelligence. A team that you need to hire, collect, and manage. The time and financial obligations might deter many companies from getting into AI. It’s actually simpler than that. How so? It’s often the case that you only need AI-backed solutions for one or two operations within your company. It can be anything from automated chatbot responses, to marketing assistance. To get that working, you probably won’t need an entire costly team of specialists. A simpler and much more cost-effective solution is to employ services of third-party companies specializing in Artificial Intelligence services. Oftentimes they have a very defined field of expertise, providing a highly specific product and bringing their knowledge and experience on board. For example, Qanuk.ai specializes in setting up visual and behavioral recommendation engines for online stores. We not only handle the setting up part but also servicing and regular updates. All you have to do is provide the product data we require. The additional benefit of collaborating with an external AI company is having access to Data Scientists, who can work with you on your ideas, propose any additional solutions and help solve any arising problems.