“AI adoption advances, but foundational barriers remain.”
That’s according to McKinsey’s November 2018 survey on artificial intelligence (AI) adoption within enterprises.
Few companies actually have in place the “foundational building blocks” to generate value at scale using AI.
So our golden nugget of digital adoption wisdom for 2019 is prepare the foundations. Because AI is here.
Digital adoption wisdom: the benefits of AI
McKinsey’s survey shows evidence of lucrative returns resulting from large-scale AI adoption. So it’s definitely not just a fad.
The global management consulting firm demonstrates through case studies how AI is adding value to different business functions.
They also illustrate the great impact AI is having on organizations, from multinational corporations and governments, to community bodies and start-ups.
AI creates value in four ways:
- Enables enterprises to plan and forecast demand better, to improve research and development, and grow resources
- Improves ability to provide goods and services cheaper and to a higher quality
- Allows companies to deliver products at the appropriate price, with the correct information
- Provides personalized user and customer experience
For the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus our digital adoption wisdom on point number 4.
AI enhances the customer experience (CX)
2018 was the year of customer experience (CX). It’s what every enterprise wants to focus on. And AI offers interesting solutions to this business goal.
Walmart, for example, uses AI for CX purposes. Lauren Desegur of WalmartLabs revealed: “We’re…enhancing the shopping experience through machine learning.
“We want to make sure there is a seamless experience between what customers do online and what they do in our stores.”
Recent research from PointSource found that with AI present, approximately half (49%) of consumers surveyed would shop online with that business more often. 34% said they’d be happy to spend more money there.
With more enterprises prioritizing digital transformation, AI has become a powerful tool for enterprises wanting to improve the CX.
AI improves the user experience (UX)
AI can also improve the user experience of enterprise applications for employees.
Today, professionals have to deal with a vast amount of digital software on a daily basis. The CRM, HCM, and ERP — these are all highly sophisticated pieces of technology, designed to help businesses achieve their goals.
However, the reality is that, with regular system updates, migrations, and the introduction of new tools and features, employees experience digital overwhelm.
Instead of technology being the enabler, it becomes the challenge.
AI can improve the user experience of these enterprise tools by providing help when they need it. That’s actually partly how a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) works. It’s an intelligent algorithmic layer that’s applied to an existing digital system.
Digital adoption wisdom: you need to prepare for AI adoption now!
AI adoption grew by more than 60% in 2018. McKinsey’s report points out that, “wide application of artificial intelligence technology will bring great returns to businesses.”
It also notes that, outside of the tech industry, few companies have actually deployed AI solutions. But those that have are going to reap much greater rewards than enterprises that wait until it becomes more mainstream.
Digital adoption wisdom: enterprises need to lay the foundations for AI adoption now.
AI has been transformative for early adopters. Rephael Sweary writes in Learning Solutions Magazine: “if there’s one technology that will continue to dominate this year on into 2019, it’s AI.
“Whether it’s personal virtual assistants in healthcare or fraud detection systems in banking, there are a multitude of applications that AI is upending.”
And Harvard Business Review warns businesses to act on this trend fast. It takes time to create the system, integrate it, and develop the meaningful human to AI interactions that are going to add value. If you wait, you’ll be set back years.
How to prepare your enterprise for AI adoption
Here are 3 top tips on preparing your enterprise for AI and getting the most out of it.
- Start with what’s important: one of the top benefits of AI is to optimize internal business operations and support data-driven decision making.
- Use AI in training and onboarding: it can rapidly accelerate the process and get better ROI than traditional human to human classroom methods.
- Incorporate AI into the average working day: everyone needs to be as comfortable with AI in an enterprise setting as they are using Google to search for things. Consider an AI personal assistant for department heads and chat bots for sales and customer service teams.
As McKinsey stated, AI is advancing and you need to be at the helm in order to feel the benefits. If you’re looking for real, evidence based digital adoption wisdom, this is it: the time is now, start building those foundations.