How to harness AI for maximizing business gains

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the biggest trends in the enterprise technology space today.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the biggest trends in the enterprise technology space today. Some people believe AI would replace humans at the workplace, thereby leading to job losses. Others feel such fears are misplaced and that AI would provide valuable insights for business. Whatever may be the sentiment, one thing is for sure -- Artificial Intelligence is here to stay and radically transform the way businesses work.

With the onset of AI, machines that were traditionally limited to only analyzing data are now yielding critical insights that go a long way in formulating business strategies. Already running into billions of dollars, the machine learning market is growing at a steady 20 percent annually.

The impact of AI can be felt on some verticals earlier than others. Insurance, for instance, is one of the verticals that could be ahead on the curve to deploy AI. Some insurance agencies for instance have starting deploying monitoring devices in cars. It allows them analyze whether an individual is a safe driver or not using AI based algorithms, and accordingly customize a suitable policy.

In the near future, a health insurance company could get their customers to wear a smart device which tracks vital parameters such as blood pressure, heart rate and physical activity. It can then offer a discount to an active and healthy individual.

For CIOs who are looking to leverage AI, there are a few things worth keeping in mind.

First and foremost, it is imperative to regularly optimize and refine the algorithm used by the machines. Algorithms are only as good as the people who develop them. CIOs would need digital artisans who can balance left brain and right brain expertise. The winning formula would comprise new and improved algorithms, discovery of patterns and applying human intuition to the entire process.

Second, employees need to be made aware of the transformational capabilities of AI. Unless the internal users, including the top management, make use of the new predictions, and see the technology in action, it will remain redundant. Getting the buy-in from employees and stakeholders is, therefore, important.

Third, CIOs should not completely rely on technology. Although AI goes a long way in assisting critical decision making, it doesn’t completely do away with the necessity of human intervention. AI can at best complement; but not substitute, understanding of an organization’s customers.

Lastly, there cannot be a substitute for early adoption. Early movers will definitely have an advantage over others. Gathering data sets and improving algorithms requires time, and enhanced interactions on the network requires dedicated efforts. Enterprise technology leaders who adopt AI would have an early opportunity to create a competitive differentiator for their enterprises.

As CIOs increasingly witness barriers of computing power and costs breaking down, more of them will join the AI and big data bandwagon. While the more technology savvy and progressive enterprises have already done so, it won’t be long before others too realize the value of AI and take the plunge.

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