This year, artificial intelligence adoption has exploded across many industries, with organisations quickly integrating it into their operations. A third of survey respondents in a 2023 McKinsey survey stated that their organisation uses generative AI regularly in at least one business function.
Knowledge workers especially have discovered the benefits of generative AI in departments such as sales, marketing, HR, customer support and many more. For example, AI can provide much-needed support to HR departments by automating functions like onboarding and assisting with data collection.
While AI offers many benefits, like any new piece of technology, I recommend considering its role in your business before deploying it. With Microsoft Copilot about to become generally available to enterprise customers, the following thought process should remain front of mind.
Align AI initiatives with the business strategy
Before deploying any AI solution within your business, consider how it will align with your business strategy. For example, what functions need support from AI the most? How precisely would AI support a department like customer service? Adopting AI without understanding its place in your business strategy can lead to misallocated resources, unmet goals, and conflicts with established processes.
For this reason, the company’s leadership must understand AI’s value and the associated risks. Artificial intelligence adoption cannot be an initiative solely led by the IT department. Good collaboration between leadership and IT will increase the chances that AI projects align with organisational needs, deliver tangible value and drive strategic growth rather than creating disruption or redundancy.
Implement governance policies
Governance refers to the practices, processes, and procedures that direct and control an organisation. It establishes frameworks for decision-making, promotes accountability, and ensures the organisation meets its objectives. When applied to emerging technologies like AI, governance is essential to success and protecting your business.
At the same time, governance had become an issue, with 1 in 5 businesses citing difficulty ensuring data governance. This challenge can lead to unintended consequences such as misuse of AI and misalignment with organisational goals. Proper governance ensures accountability and transparency in decision-making, regular assessments based on performance metrics, and fosters open communication and collaboration when deploying and using AI.
Consider the impact of data on your AI strategy
Outputs generated by AI rely on quality data. Without accurate and unbiased data, the outputs will have errors or biases and can bring down the success of your AI strategy. So, when implementing AI, your organisation must understand the data used, ensure its integrity and properly manage it to reduce biases or errors from impacting AI models.
In addition, your organisation must properly handle sensitive data used by AI platforms. Data usage must comply with relevant privacy regulations. Your organisation should also ensure users cannot manipulate the AI to access restricted data.
Calculate the time and cost investments
Implementing AI in your business comes with time and cost considerations. For example, it will take time to develop the strategy, implement it, and manage the new processes. Your team will also need to invest some time in completing training to ensure they properly use AI in the new processes. Without proper training, your company may not see the predicted ROI.
Like adopting any new technology, your organisation should calculate the potential return on investment (ROI), including the impact on specific departments. For example, you might calculate productivity increases that reduce the amount of time spent on individual tasks. These time savings might translate into cost savings as the company reduces overtime. Without this understanding, the business risks heavy investment without a clear method of tracking the AI’s success or failure. If you do not see significant reductions in time spent on specific tasks, then it’s a sign that you need to revisit the strategy.
Analyse the cyber security implications
It’s essential to pinpoint potential vulnerabilities specific to AI platforms. For example, AI attacks are a threat that uses vulnerabilities in AI systems to alter their outputs, create disruptions or access sensitive data. Training your team to monitor AI outputs and flag any abnormalities is one way to recognise and prevent these attacks.
Protecting sensitive data from attacks requires your organisation to implement protections for the data used by the AI and the AI algorithms themselves. It’s important to note that these policies and protections should continuously change; as threats evolve, so must your cyber security strategy.
It is not enough to simply start using AI in your business. You should start by defining AI’s role in relevant departments and ensure it will support the business strategy. Understanding cost and time considerations will also be important because of the investment in deploying the solution and training teams to use it. AI platforms introduce new vulnerabilities into your business, and you must account for this as part of your overall cyber security strategy. Success in AI adoption depends on these considerations, so your organisation needs a clear strategy to address each challenge.
Wyntec can guide your strategy for artificial intelligence adoption
We deliver AI solutions that integrate into your operations and support your team with data analysis, sales strategies, performance metrics and lead generation. We collaborate with you to streamline daily operations and empower your team to focus on broader business goals and innovations. Visit our Artificial Intelligence page for more information on what we offer.