Artificial Intelligence

    Formulating an A.I. Strategy

    By Josh Adragna on October, 2 2017

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    Josh Adragna

    Evaluating artificial intelligence in the enterprise can seem like a daunting task. The team has worked with several leading organizations and has learned key insights in how to approach evaluating A.I. The following points can provide guidance and best practices in how to formulate an A.I. strategy.

    1. Start by identifying areas for improvement

    This could refer to addressing a problem or just improvements in general. Problems could be anything from overworked employees to a shortage in work staff. Both problems are easily addressable with some clever automation and a good software solution should not only free up your employees but also drive increased profitability. Once you find your areas of improvement, you can further break them down into short term goals and objectives for specific departments. Tools are generally categorized by the departments that use them and now you’ve narrowed your search down to a specific category of tools and functions.

    2. Find where AI will provide a technology moat

    Choosing to use artificial intelligence is a business decision that will reward your organization by building a technology moat against your competition. Once you have identified the areas of improvement, implementing an AI solution will dramatically increase efficience and position your orgaizaiton for long term gains. 

    3. Align Key Stakeholders

    Recognizing the benefits of a solution are important, but what’s more important is to get executive buy-in to not only make a purchase, but also support its integration into your organization. You obviously want to get approval from the top first and a good practice is to compose a list of all the drawbacks of not using the software solution. For example, if you’re pitching a support AI solution, you would want to highlight the the loss in customer support engagements during the holidays. Getting support on an employee level is no trivial matter either especially when you’re talking about changing the way people work on a day to day basis.

    4. Assigning Ownership And Create Accountability

    Every stage of the project needs to have owners who are held accountable. Owners need to be assigned for budget, vendor sourcing and implementation. You also need someone to evaluate the outcome against what a successful adoption should look like. It’s good to have mix of people from across departments to eliminate bias and make sure teams collaborate more effectively.

    5. Prioritize Communication

    With regards to why vendor sourcing fails, the top reasons include strategic misalignment, basic miscommunication and a lack of true executive buy-in. Strategic misalignment occurs when both you and your vendor have different long term objectives and this is why internal evaluation and vetting the vendor are both equally important.Miscommunication in regards to pricing and capabilities are fatal and can easily be avoided with good research. A lack of true executive buy-in could be on account of an all round initial enthusiasm followed by an absence of any active participation. This is why it’s so important that executive buy-in comes from the top and travels all the way through to the bottom.

    Lastly, communication is key and it’s essential to explain to everyone on a ground level, the long term advantages involved with the changes happening and why they are so important for not just the organization but each and every person involved in the process as well.

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