May 16, 2018 | Keelin McDonell
A Guide to Successful AI Implementations, and Why So Many Fail
With Artificial Intelligence (AI) business value set to top $3.9 trillion (yes, trillion!) by 2022, more and more companies are racing to adopt AI technologies. Across functions and verticals, these solutions promise to deliver huge results to the enterprise. But, as with most software, so much of the success of these projects depends on implementing your AI solution in the right way for your business. Consider the following milestones for getting the most value out of your AI investment.
Know Your Business Goals
Entering the world of AI often means being besieged by buzzy terminology and emerging concepts. Regardless of the type of AI you are trying to implement, it’s critical that you lead with the business goals that the software is going to deliver. Is your main KPI time saved on routine internal tasks? Do you want to increase the accuracy and efficiency of your reporting? Do you need to deliver a result faster, cheaper, or at greater scale?
Make sure your organization is aligned on these important business measurements so that when you are rolling out your AI product, the team has an easy way of gauging the success of the project weeks or months down the road. Many AI products make a splashy impression during a demo but fail to deliver on the business outcomes you really need.
Enhance (Don’t Replace) Your Team
Like many emerging technologies, AI can bring tons of excitement to a company—but along with that excitement can come fear. Some workers may even see AI as a threat to their jobs,and some managers may think their workforce will soon be replaced by robots. In truth, AI best serves the enterprise as an accelerant for employees. Every hour AI saves on a routine task or function is time your team gets back to think strategically about the business.
AI also allows your company to scale your best services and experiences to your entire customer base. Your team can focus their time on identifying and planning these initiatives while technology takes over the execution.
Teach Your AI Well
Companies often purchase AI software to better understand or communicate about their data. However, not every enterprise is ready to provide the training data needed to get an AI product functioning at its peak. Imagine hiring a new employee and never offering that person any training or support. You’d never think of it! And yet, enterprises too often make a huge AI software purchase without investing in the data and workflows that will support it. Great AI vendors will assist you with this process to ensure you are set up for long-term success.
Get Everyone Onboard
Perhaps most importantly, enterprise AI implementations typically involve many functions within a company—IT, data, business intelligence, lines of business, and more. Ensuring that every team is invested in the success of the project is critical to achieving great outcomes. Early in the process, this can mean bringing the IT and business functions together to make sure the implementers and users of the technology understand the desired outcome. Longer term, this may include hosting demos and educational sessions so that other employees can see the value that AI delivers.
Creating a company culture around AI will ultimately help ensure that the technology is embraced, measured appropriately, and eventually spread from function to function as more success is achieved.