How AI Adoption Enables Digital Transformation

Artificial Intelligence (AI) allows companies to leverage data at scale for any number of business use cases. It can be used effectively wherever pattern discovery, predictive analytics, and complex decision making are needed.

By using AI to scale and improve processes, companies can achieve exciting new possibilities, but getting the most from AI requires investment – the right kind of investment.

A Quick Guide to AI

Artificial Intelligence is powerful, but it isn’t magic. Putting this technology to work for your organization means understanding the potential and limitations of the technology and knowing how it interacts with the functions and features of your product.

Maximizing the business impact of digitalization is where AI shines. Let’s say, for example, your organization is looking for ways to automate tasks and multiply the output of your team. AI technology could be a huge driver of success, and certainly worth investment consideration. But take note, executives and product leaders should have a clear business case in mind before diving in, and that business outcome has to remain at the fore.

What to Know Before AI Implementation

Many companies aspire to employ self-learning software within their digital product(s), but not everyone arrives at their destination successfully, and many others incur painful time and cost delays.

Several years ago, Gartner predicted that 85 percent of AI projects would ultimately fail. More recently, the Wall Street Journal estimated a failure rate closer to half – a more balmy forecast for sure, but a reflection nonetheless of the disappointments and challenges many companies are still experiencing.

Stakeholder buy-in, a talented implementation team, and internal momentum in favor of AI implementation certainly contribute to a successful outcome, but they aren’t everything. Throughout 2020, research firms with a finger on the pulse of technology, have argued the necessity of finding partners with the right experience and expertise in order to achieve key business goals. Now is the time for companies to “focus on their core capabilities and smartly outsource other capabilities to partners that are motivated to continuously improve them to win and keep your business” says Forrester analyst Ted Schadler.

Why you need a strategic AI partner

If you’re embarking on an AI implementation, you may want an internal AI team. Keep in mind, however, that building the right team isn’t easy.

According to Deloitte, 80 percent of highly-experienced companies with strong AI teams say they still experience talent shortages and skill gaps. Recruiting and retaining robust AI teams is even harder for organizations with less-established programs. In fact, only 6% of beginning AI programs and teams manage to avoid talent shortages.

Even with experienced project managers and access to the right talent, piloting a new AI project is hard. Early discovery is valuable as long as it doesn’t lead your team down the wrong path.

At the enterprise level, making meaningful progress with AI adoption calls for experienced guidance. Following the right framework and working directly with a partner that specializes in AI innovation and implementation can reduce adoption risks.

How to Start Your Digital Transformation

For a successful implementation, you’ll want to use the right framework. These best practices can help your organization chart an effective AI roadmap:

  • Identify use cases: Leverage AI capabilities at scale
  • Get buy-in: Involve your internal stakeholders
  • Sponsor digital transformation: At the executive level, demonstrate commitment and support for AI adoption
  • Begin planning: Start planning projects that have the most value and viability
  • Find your team: Begin recruiting AI talent and finding strategic partners
  • Leverage talent: Empower your in-house team and integrate closely with partner teams
  • Unify around AI: Bring your organization’s departments together and eliminate silos
  • Make your investment: Think carefully through your budgeting, project management, and resource planning

Given the complexity involved, it’s wise to tread thoughtfully through your implementation with this framework, because successful AI adoption is usually driven by a continuous improvement philosophy – as your organization establishes a more sophisticated AI program, you’re more likely to reap the full benefits. Along the way, experienced guidance is invaluable, so consider partnering with a vendor that has a deep understanding of AI and minimize the pain of implementation.

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