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Beginning your journey to implementing artificial intelligence

SoftwareOne blog editorial team
Blog Editorial Team
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Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been disrupting industries across the globe for a few years now. It may not always be so obvious to the naked eye, but organisations that are outperforming their competitors are likely using AI to help inform their business decisions. AI is often described as machines or processes with human-like intelligence, enabled through machine learning algorithms. One of the best aspects of AI is that it can be applied to every industry. No matter the size of an organisation, AI can remedy challenges and increase business efficiencies by analyzing and utilizing quality data. 

Starting our blog post series about Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Automation, we’ll discuss the benefits and risks of implementing artificial intelligence in the cloud, and how SoftwareOne can support you on your unique journey towards implementing AI.

The business benefits of AI

In the past, companies had to rely on data scientists to analyse their data and detect trends. Due to the enormous amount of data available and the limited time in their workday, it was nearly impossible for them to detect every trend or beneficial piece of information.

Now, through the use of artificial intelligence, data can be analysed and sorted in real-time. In turn, organisations are able to increase the speed of optimisation when it comes to business decisions, ultimately achieving greater outcomes at a quicker pace. These outcomes can be as small as improving internal business processes, to as large as improving the efficiency of traffic in large cities.

The other benefits of AI are almost limitless. Let’s dive into how organisations can take advantage:

A better customer experience

One of the top benefits of using AI is the enhanced customer experience it enables. Artificial intelligence enables organisations to put forth enhanced product offerings through the rigorous, ongoing analysis of consumer activity. For instance, if users are regularly engaging with certain features and functions, or experiencing performance issues on certain pages, AI can help you immediately identify these issues, and even provide suggestions to resolve the problem.

Aside from analyzing customer activity, artificial intelligence can also facilitate consumer interaction. For instance, by analyzing the behavioral patterns of consumers, AI can also improve marketing efforts through personalisation by offering more relevant advertisements and product recommendations. Or, you could use an AI-enabled chatbot to provide real-time support to users. When combined with machine learning technology, you can even improve your support by letting your chatbot learn from every interaction for a continually enhanced experience. 

Improve business efficiency

One other benefit to artificial intelligence is the ability to automate business processes. Instead of spending labor hours having an employee do repetitive tasks, you can use an AI-based solution that will perform those operations instantaneously. Additionally, by leveraging machine learning capabilities, the algorithm will be able to automatically provide optimisations for business processes that are on-premise and in the cloud. For instance, a logistics company could use AI to analyse and optimise their infrastructure, workloads, communication, transportation, and more.

This results in savings in both time and money through better productivity and, oftentimes, more accurate work. Now, instead of assigning employees to do repetitive or ongoing tasks, you can use their intellectual capital to find new solutions to business problems.

Increase data security

A huge plus of AI is the fraud and threat protection possibilities it is able to bring to organisations. Since AI monitors user activity, it can learn to detect potential security threats, both internally and externally. For instance, an AI-based security solution could regularly analyse when certain employees log into a cloud solution, which device they used, and from which location they accessed the cloud data. However, one night, a user logs into their account at 3 am, using their approved mobile device in a neighboring country. The AI would notice this activity was unusual, and ask the user to confirm their details. An hour later, your IT helpdesk receives a call from an employee, saying they lost their phone on a night out and they needed their accounts locked down.

If it weren’t for the AI-driven security solution, a hacker could have used that hour to download or destroy important documents, causing massive business disruption. In an era of cloud connectivity and bring-your-own-device, this level of security should be the standard. Through early threat detection, companies can save time, money, and their reputation.

Identify new business opportunities

With AI, your organisation will be able to uncover a multitude of new business opportunities by combing through market, customer, and company data and searching for associations. For one example, AI can help identify quality leads and discard low-quality leads by automatically assessing the validity of form-fills. For instance, an official company email will be automatically sorted as a high-quality lead, while a “hotmail.com” email address will be sorted as low quality. This will help you spend less time cleaning datasets, and more time capitalizing on hot leads.

However, this isn’t the only method. You could also use AI to find customers with a high lifetime value, or identify which leads are the most likely to convert quickly. By using AI to help you focus on where the best opportunities are, you can increase revenue, lower expenses, and even improve morale among your business development teams.

The risks associated with AI

While Artificial Intelligence can be a major catalyst for a more profitable and efficient business, there are inherent risks that need to be considered prior to implementation. Concerns over the cost of AI solutions, skills limitations, and even ethical concerns are raised when discussing the topic. before you start implementing AI-driven solutions at your organisation, consider the following:

  • Information security: The machine learning algorithms that power AI-driven solutions need to process a lot of data to better train its systems. However, when you retain more data for a learning initiative, you’re opening the door to data and privacy breaches. Therefore, there is a need for involvement from multiple departments, including legal and compliance departments.
  • Compliance: With the growing concern of data privacy in recent years, AI solutions need to remain compliant with increasing data protection laws around the world. This may include regularly deleting old data and ensuring all the data you use was obtained with consumer consent.
    Implementation Times: Not only will it take time to find and implement an AI platform, but companies also need to find and train qualified employees that can manage it. This can result in inflated costs and lost productivity.
  • Costs: The costs associated with implementing and maintaining AI over time include purchasing the platform, running pilot projects, ensuring there are employees that understand and manage the programs, monitoring security, and more. Some companies may be hesitant to take on these costs as they are unsure if there will be a return on their investment.
  • Job automation: Some employees may be concerned that they will lose their jobs to automation from AI. Organisations need to work to assuage these concerns before they can get complete employee buy-in.

Although these risks may sound intimidating, the benefits of a successful AI implementation far outweigh them, and with proper management and support, organisations can experience the positive advances of artificial intelligence without worry.

The relationship between data management and AI

Data management refers to the guidelines that companies follow when collecting, storing, using, and deleting data. The interaction between data management and artificial intelligence is synergistic. It is impossible to use AI without having quality data to learn from.

Before your organisation can implement an AI strategy, you need to collect quality data and plan on where that data will be used. Ask yourself these questions to ensure that you are collecting quality data: 

  • Does my organisation have a comprehensive data collection policy?
  • Is my data being normalised well enough? 
  • Is my data being collected and stored in an efficient format? 

If you can’t answer yes to all three of these questions with complete confidence, invest time in a data management initiative before moving forward with an AI-driven solution.

Examples of successful Artificial Intelligence applications

While these considerations may seem like a heavy lift, it’s easier than it seems. Artificial Intelligence, at its core, is actually quite simple and already exists in a lot of today's activities. For example, when a user submits a support ticket, there is already AI available that can annotate and categorise the request in order to simplify the process for the support technicians. Sometimes the best way to truly understand a concept is to see it in action, however. Let’s take a look at a few more examples of different AI applications, and how organisations are finding success: 

  • Facebook uses DeepText to automatically understand and analyse the content of the thousands of posts that its users publish every day. Facebook also uses AI to automatically identify and remove inappropriate posts in an instant.
  • Apple, a multinational technology company, implements AI and machine learning in their products which enable FaceID feature and the smart assistant Siri. 
  • Twitter, a micro-blogging and social networking service, uses AI to automatically identify and remove illegal content, hate speech, sensitive media, and more. 
  • Nest Learning Thermostat is a smart thermostat that uses AI to monitor activity in your home and adjust the temperature at home to keep you and your loved ones comfortable.  
  • Banks use AI to enable you to scan your check and deposit money into your account so you don’t need to visit the branch office. 

Easily implement AI in your organisation with SoftwareOne

A basic understanding of AI is essential in any organisation. Otherwise, you could end up wasting time and money on an inefficient implementation process that doesn’t take advantage of all the capabilities of AI. In one of our next blogs, we’ll dive deeper into how AI can be used in companies regardless of their size to improve business efficiencies and how SoftwareOne can help them get there.

In the meantime, however, we encourage you to hone your knowledge of Artificial Intelligence and how it could potentially be applied to your organisation. Here at SoftwareOne, we are ready to help you find the opportunities possible with AI, from lowered spend to enhanced security. While it may seem like a daunting undertaking, implementing AI with a little bit of expert help is simpler than you might think.

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Ready to start your journey?

Contact us today to learn more about how SoftwareOne can help your organisation begin to implement Artificial Intelligence for major success.

Ready to start your journey?

Contact us today to learn more about how SoftwareOne can help your organisation begin to implement Artificial Intelligence for major success.


SoftwareOne blog editorial team

Blog Editorial Team

We analyse the latest IT trends and industry-relevant innovations to keep you up-to-date with the latest technology.