While healthcare, marketing and finance consistently surface as leading industries for the use of AI, most Fortune500 companies and many public sector departments have been piloting implementation. 74% of organisations surveyed by Deloitte expect AI to be integrated into all enterprise applications by 2023. A striking 82% of companies using AI have seen substantial to moderate benefits, with a median ROI of 17%. There’s overwhelming evidence of the benefits of hiking AI up your digital agenda, but it’s an attractive opportunity that’s often poorly understood. Without the right methods, implementing AI can lead to costly mistakes and generating value remains elusive.
As with all new technologies, application brings a fresh set of opportunities and challenges. To navigate through these and unpack the multiple dividends while avoiding pitfalls, organisations must ensure they have a tailor-made deployment strategy. This often includes establishing whether you have the right staff and communication methods in place and developing practices to ensure your AI deployment will improve business operations.
These essential practices will help you get started with the right AI implementation strategy:
Apply strong business co-creation
Many companies apply AI as a method to replace existing systems, rather than forming the entirely new practices needed for its successful use – however, this tactic is likely to put the return on investment in the bottom quartile. This can be a result of IT-led AI projects without strong business co-creation. Mature adopters incorporate AI into the fabric of their organisation. This includes co-creation from people across the business and developing use cases driven by the most critical and meaningful pain points.
AI favours the bold
Companies in the top-performing quartile are characterised by offensive digital strategies: including a tactical, mid-term and long-term proof of concept that allows both the enhancing and disruptive benefits of AI to be explored. A bold AI implementation strategy has a strong chance of reaping high-end ROI when coupled with digital transformation expertise, executive buy-in beyond IT, and leadership with a superior ability to communicate and manage change.
Innovation is communication
Change management of people and processes is a bigger hurdle to successful adoption than the technical AI implementation. This finding is aligned with innovation research and prominent IT leaders calling out communication as the most critical success factor for innovative initiatives. After over two decades of innovation management experience,
Alex Goryachev, Cisco’s Managing Director of Innovation Strategy & Programs, coined the phrase; “innovation is communication.” With this in mind, your AI strategy should involve determining how to communicate positively and effectively while defining a realistic and clear expectation of what benefits the company can expect to gain.
Those determined to use AI to push the boundaries of their current capacity, can and will realise a new vision of what’s possible for their organisation. By leveraging AI to create better products, services, and ways of working, your team will reach new frontiers faster. However, in the age of AI, gaining a competitive edge means being fully aware of its application pitfalls while understanding exactly how to tailor your strategy for success.