How should modern enterprises go about implementing artificial intelligence? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Enterprises in every industry would want to adopt AI. I’ve yet to speak with an executive who hasn’t considered how AI could impact their team or company. They know it can deliver unparalleled operational efficiency, enable new business models, delight customers, and ultimately drive their bottom line.
Despite this, only 30% of enterprises report piloting an AI project. So, what’s holding the other 70% back?
I’ve asked this very question to executives at global 2k companies over the last year or so. Their answers usually boil down to three common hindrances:
- Legacy organizational processes
- People and talent
- Organizational politics
Inherently, these challenges are all tied to the company culture, which is why it is so critical to engage in culture change along with implementing new technology. Sadly, there’s no single silver bullet to changing your culture, which is why AI must be applied in the specific context of each enterprise.
While many enterprises struggle with this cultural pillar, there are more subtle, and sometimes more addressable issues associated with effective AI implementation. In their eagerness to deploy AI, some organizations lack clarity in the purpose, or if they have this clarity, fail to communicate it clearly to all constituents.
The easiest, but most insidious obstacle manifests as legacy investments. It’s easy to stick by the tools you’ve already spent money on, rely on past relationships, and stand still to remain comfortable. In today’s world, I can’t think anymore dangerous things to do. Unless you’re interested in becoming the next Sears.
That’s not to say enterprises should implement AI en masse, without clearly scoping how AI will be used. Once the scope is well defined, it’s better to take a specific branch and implement the AI-driven changes in that specific pool. Enterprises can then study the impact, and apply these learning before integrating AI more widely. It’s better to make a 100% change in 5% of your operations than trying a 5% change in your 100% business.
When Delta Airlines unveiled the Biometric boarding passes in Atlanta airports, they found consumers were already comfortable and ready to use them, surprising officials who anticipated it would take much longer. In most cases, I believe businesses will be pleasantly surprised how ready their customers bases are when it comes to taking advantage of the fruits of well-designed applications helped by well-designed AI.
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