The reality of technologies like AI, is that it has the ability to give people, businesses and society a significant boost in terms of capability and productivity, augmenting decision making capabilities, speeding interaction with services and organisations, and offering significant advances in industries ranging from financial services to life sciences.
2018 has been heralded as the year the AI revolution takes to the mainstream. It is certainly no longer within reach of only the largest corporations. In fact fast-growth, younger businesses can have an advantage over larger, more established peers when it comes to embracing technologies such as AI. Start-ups and scale-ups are often less weighed down by legacy infrastructure that can make change and the adoption of new technologies problematic.
Automation can get you there faster
It is hard to overstate the importance of speed in business. And with new intelligent automation technologies such as AI powering data analytics, businesses can make decisions more quickly based on powerful, timely insights.
AI technologies offer scalable ways to cope with the data deluge flooding organisations and provides the power to mine that data for valuable insights and even recommend responses with probable outcomes. Furthermore, the more data AI has access to and the more information users provide in response to outputs and recommendations, the more powerful and apparently intuitive it becomes.
Many businesses are starting to recognise these significant benefits and the competitive edge AI can give them. This is creating an imperative for all businesses to quickly come to terms with how AI can assist them and how they can avoid being left behind.
For those businesses which are wary, or held back by concerns over where to begin, the route to AI does not need to be daunting or scary – they just need the right foundation to build upon.
Companies with a unified platform for their business processes are best positioned to capitalise on AI. A business with unified applications in the cloud isn’t held back by data sets sprawled across different silos.
Three ways to take advantage of AI
There are three ways forward-thinking businesses can take advantage of AI.
Instead of the backward-looking view that business intelligence provides, AI can analyse large volumes of real-time data to provide live insights and recommend decisions. With AI, opportunities can be identified while they are emerging, helping businesses become far more reactive and agile.
For example, a potential delay in the delivery of a cheap raw material could affect the on-time delivery of high-value orders in a months’ time. This will cause customer satisfaction issues, which in turn cause payment delays, credits, increased discounts, lower repeat orders and a revenue hit six months later that may be further exacerbated by a backlog of unsold stock.
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Being able to identify that issue earlier and predict its repercussions, will inform the best possible response, including quantifying the benefit and possible implications of a replacement supplier as well as what premium would be paid for a short-term solution.
Applications can have hundreds of role-based dashboards that are delivered out of the box. These are based on years of developing and implementing in multiple industries. In the future, intelligent interaction will dynamically construct dashboards based on what it thinks the user needs to see, derived from current activities and the behaviour of thousands of similar roles.
Businesses are now also seeing the emergence of intelligent voice-activated solutions. The intelligence here is taking unstructured instructions and determining what the user means and then ensuring the right information is delivered back.
Enterprise solutions can have very powerful workflow engines that allow companies to change and automate business processes without writing code. New intelligent systems will learn, suggest and automate processes after learning business patterns and behaviours. For example, the machine can automatically place holds on customers based on payment and ordering behaviours.
Unlike the dystopian future of ‘Black Mirror’, AI will give individuals and organisations the opportunity to work more effectively and more productively in the pursuit of better results. The greatest risk where AI is concerned will be in failing to embrace the benefits it can provide and being outpaced by competitors which do.
Sourced by Mark Woodhams, managing director, EMEA for Oracle NetSuite