How will AI impact my business in the future?
AI (Artificial Intelligence) is already revolutionising many industries, from mainstream sectors such as engineering and manufacturing, through to specialist and niche areas including training, media production and design. From construction to agriculture, AI applications are transforming traditional industries and revolutionising their potential for better efficiency, lower costs, improved management, enhanced safety and higher productivity.
Let’s take a closer look at what AI means for businesses, their employees, and how this evolving technology may affect businesses in the future.
What does AI look like?
Artificial Intelligence can take many forms, and it will depend on your encounter with technology as to what it may look like. Examples of AI in action include:
- Robotics in production lines
- Machine learning to drive online customer service
- Advanced robotics for use with patient surgery
- ‘Ask Siri’ on the iPhone and Alexa with Amazon
- Automatic fraud detection software for banking
- Intuitive disease detection software for healthcare
- Drones for land planning and evaluation
The potential scope and application of AI are immense, depending on individual industries and their needs. In all cases, AI uses the latest technological advances and incorporates software with specialist functions. For example, feature recognition or machine learning, to deliver increasing levels of machine-led intelligence, combined with vast volumes of business data. In the last few years alone, the applications have become far more sophisticated and are offering businesses of all kinds a host of benefits.
AI can either be bespoke and highly expensive for a business, or affordable and delivered at scale, such as software packages that offer marketing retargeting for e-commerce businesses, or even autonomous store robots.
What are the benefits of AI?
When correctly deployed, AI can:
1. Automate processes and tasks to avoid waste and save money and time
2. Boost operational efficiencies and drive productivity
3. Use cognitive technologies to make faster business decisions
4. Support health and safety initiatives that build safer businesses
5. Reduce the risks of human error
6. Mine data and predict customer needs and preferences to offer better experiences
7. Mine data for better customer leads and sales opportunities
8. Offer support and advice that grows expertise through analysis.
What are the key AI business trends?
There are plenty of emerging AI trends to look out for, these include:
- More AI-enabled chips. These specialist chips will allow AI applications to operate faster and to be optimised for specific uses such as language processing and computer vision. These will be key to industries such as automotive and healthcare which will need to be able to deliver customer intelligence to the end-user.
- Greater use of automated machine learning, which will change how businesses handle complex scenarios.
- Integration of AI and the Internet of Things to help deal with global traffic congestion problems, for example.
- More use of facial recognition, from security applications through to enhanced and personalised customer engagement and experiences.
How can AI help small businesses in particular?
There are various off-the-shelf and customisable AI solutions available to small businesses. These tools can help to reduce business risk, save costs, improve efficiency and productivity and improve flexibility. For example, CRM systems interlinked with AI technology can be used to improve sales and marketing efforts, with in-depth data collection to build better campaigns.
Customer communications can be automated and delivered for low cost around the clock response handling by online chatbots. AI can be used to improve the workflow of HR and streamline its tasks, such as handling job applications and applicant sifting. Various new tools also exist to help automate competitor analysis and intelligence gathering for better business decisions.
So how is AI likely to help your business in the future?
Whatever your industry, there is no doubt that AI applications will change how it operates. From discrete apps on smartphones through to intelligent CRM systems, AI technology is creating a paradigm shift and enabling the modern business goal of digital transformation. In future, AI is likely to help all businesses to:
- Make smarter and more informed decisions using tech-gathered data and analysis
- Benefit from streamlined supply chains
- Continue to migrate towards mobile applications for greater flexibility
- Create better customer relations and experience programmes that tailor to individual needs
- Support better recruitment practices and outcomes
- Facilitate better cybersecurity and offline physical security alike.
Whether you have a bank account for an online business or deal with suppliers on the other side of the world, AI could potentially have an impact on the way your company operates in the future. Wherever your business currently stands in awareness of AI and its adoption within your industry, now is the time to explore the potential of this rapidly evolving technological enabler.
AI is the future, and those businesses which are ready to adopt AI solutions strategically will see their competitive advantage increase as a result.