Artificial intelligence in business? Companies don’t have an AI strategy

Every organization that doesn’t want to be left behind is investing in artificial intelligence today, but few are doing it thoughtfully, IDC reports.

Digital transformation is slowly becoming such a mainstream phenomenon in the business world that Accenture is already heralding the dawn of the post-digital era. It’s no wonder, then, that implementing AI was high on the list of both important and urgent things, making this task the highest priority.

As IDC reports in its latest study “Artificial Intelligence Global Adoption Trends & Strategies”, this phenomenon carries certain risks. What? Organizations will need to develop an effective AI strategy aligned with business goals and innovative business models in order to be able to apply it effectively. The problem is that so far only one in four companies does.

– The implementation of artificial intelligence, like any innovative technology, must be preceded by a process analysis and an assessment of whether AI will improve something in a given company. The implementation process itself should be done in short steps. We have a new AI function, we implement it, observe it, collect data, evaluate if it works and decide what to do next. Everything should be overseen by a dedicated team of AI and business experts. The organization can build it on its own or trust external experts – comments Stanisław Bochnak, Chief Business Strategist at VMware Polska.

Where will AI spending grow fastest? According to IDC experts, it is to be expected that the industrial sector will make the most of AI technology. According to data from the consulting firm, in four years, in 2023, the value of solutions based on artificial intelligence dedicated to the industry will reach a value of almost 5 billion dollars. It will be more than seven times its current value, which at the end of 2018 was $633 million.

– Investments in artificial intelligence solutions in manufacturing companies are and will be driven by the idea of ​​the fourth industrial revolution – explains Lucjan Giza, director of development at BPSC. – AI-based technologies will be useful, among other things, for analyzing huge amounts of data in real time. This will improve the accuracy of forecasts and controls in operational processes, especially those used to improve production efficiency, he adds.

The industrial sector will gain the most from AI technology. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Thanks to AI, companies can not only improve their business management processes, but also reduce the costs associated with product development. Thanks to the digital connection of the systems of producers and suppliers, it will be possible to manage the supply chain correctly. Artificial intelligence mechanisms will provide entrepreneurs with accurate information on the availability of production capacity and the availability or breakdown of supplier machines.

Two industries in particular, discrete manufacturing and process manufacturing, as predicted by IDC, will do particularly well. In both cases, the priority of digitization spending is smart production, which takes full advantage of the benefits of artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence, real dilemmas

The fact that the use of artificial intelligence in companies will increase is obvious – this is confirmed by the IDC report, which estimates that the global expenditure for the development of AI systems will reach almost 36 billion dollars. in 2019.. This is a 44 percent increase. compared to the amount spent in 2018

Companies are investing heavily in projects that use the capabilities of AI software, and this will contribute to more than double the valuation of $79.2 billion, already in 2022.

– Companies know that to stand out from a set of seemingly similar offers, they must develop a strategy that will allow them to create a competitive advantage. To do this, he needs information about the customer. A Big Data analyst who lets you learn and understand consumer interests and intentions comes to the rescue. The findings of the analysis help create a personalized message that will be naturally interesting and engaging for the recipient. AI without Big Data? It’s like a car without fuel – says Piotr Prajsnar, CEO of Cloud Technologies.

Does the implementation of artificial intelligence significantly affect companies? According to IDC in the latest report, more than 60%. The organization has noticed changes in its business model due to the implementation of AI technology.

– It is important to understand the difference between digital transformation and digitization. The first is designed to support the organization’s strategy. For this reason, every company must know in which direction it wants to go and what its goal is – says Rafał Orawski, President of BPSC.

Taming artificial intelligence

According to experts, there will be more and more AI implementations, but before that happens, companies and the end recipients of innovation need to understand exactly what they are dealing with. At the moment, however, it is not good. According to a recent VMware study, almost 45%. consumers believe that artificial intelligence is more of a “thing”, a “robot” than a set of intelligent algorithms that improve the functioning of computer systems or services.

However, there is room for improvement. 53 percent of consumers surveyed in the VMware survey admitted to wanting to understand what new technologies really mean for their normal daily activity at work or at home.

Organizations will need to develop an effective AI strategy aligned with business goals and innovative business models in order to be able to apply it effectively.  (Photo: Shutterstock)

Organizations will need to develop an effective AI strategy aligned with business goals and innovative business models in order to be able to apply it effectively. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Digitization in practice

In four years, PKP Energetyka has succeeded in increasing the number of digitized business processes. In addition, people working on power lines were equipped with mobile terminals – at present, 60% of them have them. employees.

Other changes have taken place in the area of ​​documentation and work organization. Four years ago, 90%. the documents were paper, for the moment the opposite is true. For this 100 percent. work performed by PKP Energetyka personnel is based on schedules.

What did the company gain from this? As Wojciech Orzech argues, the benefits are many.

– In four years, the number of breakdowns of the traction network has been multiplied by 10, the number of accidents has halved. On the other hand, employee engagement has increased (from 37% to 55%) and business efficiency – says Wojciech Orzech.

As he points out, during a transformation, people are the greatest potential, but also the greatest source of resistance. It is important to invite employees to cooperate.

– You must try to solve the real problems of employees, then they will be more willing to commit to change. The vision and strategies are created by the board, but it’s the team that has to make changes with their crew, says Orzech.

– It is also important to minimize cognitive dissonance. If we throw people who have worked analog into the world of advanced digitization, that dissonance will be very great. We did it differently – first we introduced simple solutions that got employees used to the digital world. Later, we developed platforms, and therefore people’s skills, he adds.

Wojciech Orzech also insists on the importance of the role of managers. The board should discuss the strategy developed with the managers – explain the principles and values ​​on which we will base the new strategy.

– We do it with 400 managers. It takes a lot of work, but without it we won’t involve people in the transformation. When the management team understands where the company is going and all the details are agreed, they can go and talk to their teams – comments Orzech.

How we talk to managers is also important.

– Let’s imagine that four years ago I arrived in the company and that I posed a problem: “we would like to reduce the number of catenary breakdowns, let’s see how we can do it”. If I say it this way, the employees will find a solution. If, on the other hand, I said “we must reduce the failure rate 10 times”, the employees will say that it is impossible and will present a list of arguments. When we impose on others what they must do, natural and legitimate resistances arise. You can’t put people against the wall, but ask them. A manager should not look at employees from above, because in this way he undermines their skills – assesses Orzech.

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