We’ve all heard the doomsday rhetoric around AI and automation. It’s all gone pear-shaped, the robots are approaching, and they are coming for you en masse. AI is advancing at lightning speed and it is not only going to revolutionise the way we live, work and breathe but – to put the cherry on the top – it’s coming for your job. Time to flee?
Well, not quite. Despite what you’ve heard on the grapevine – it’s not all Skynet and VIKI. Recent Capgemini research shows that AI is already starting to transform how organisations do business, manage their customer relationships and motivate the ideas and creativity that fuel ground-breaking innovation. More importantly, however, and contrary to popular belief and scepticism, the majority of companies surveyed in the report revealed that AI has in fact created new jobs.
Faced with such stats, it’s time that we began to question how technology, and specifically AI, will transform the way we work and live for the better to become less of a threat and more of an opportunity. But it’s not as straight forward as deciding to incorporate AI into the business and watching the results come in. AI implementation requires a well-thought through strategy and a careful assessment of current processes, products and services to identify the correct first steps to take.
So your business is on board with AI; you’ve identified the benefits that it can bring and all involved are pretty convinced that it could lend a helping hand all over the organisation – if not improve it radically. Your next step is to pinpoint where AI can offer the most value and best return. This might sound simple, but it’s a fundamental step that many businesses seem to overlook.
Capgemini’s research shows that over half of businesses across the globe (58%) are jumping straight to some of the most challenging or “scary” use case implementations – those defined by high complexity and high benefit that fall under our ‘need to do’ category. And in doing so they’re missing a trick. Less than half (46%) are tackling what we call ‘must do’ use cases – the low-hanging fruit, which bring high benefit but with a low level of complexity as they can be cheaper and quicker to implement. Organisations focusing significant efforts on ‘must do’ use cases can still achieve great results even with slim line approaches.
Finding the best use cases can require significant effort but it’s critical for success. A common mistake that businesses are falling into at the moment is failing to realise the essential differences between ‘must do’, ‘need to do’ and ‘can do’ use cases. They are apples and oranges (and lemons) and should be prioritised based on both individual business needs and implementation complexity.
Examples of ‘must do’ use cases or low-hanging fruit include managing risk in manufacturing and telecommunications, reducing revenue churn in retail, or analysing consumer behaviours in financial services – but every sector has its own similar cases.
AI can also play a significant role in the effective and consistent execution of repetitive, process-driven activities in compliance – particularly as more industries become regulated. Or for example, in retail, where AI adoption is implemented for more consumer-facing processes, using data-driven technologies to enhance personalisation and prevent churn.
Indeed, AI has the potential to change entire business models, transform the way we work, turn the world upside down etc. Nevertheless, much of it needs a lot more time for careful consideration, dialogue and understanding. In the meantime, by ignoring the identified ‘must do’ AI initiatives, many businesses are effectively leaving opportunities that are ripe for the taking on the table.
It’s vital that businesses have a clear vision of where and how AI can both enhance experiences and bring competitive advantages. Ultimately, AI success depends on focusing on these easy to implement ‘must do’ use cases that can give firms a real edge. Implementing AI is the perfect way to get hands-on and start mastering the complexity and transformative potential of your business at the same time. So don’t get cold feet, start small and go after the low-hanging fruit, it’s easy peasy lemon…