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By Ambit on September 16, 2019

Organisational Consumption of AI: Is Enterprise at Risk of Being Left Behind?

Despite acknowledging the value that AI technology has to offer, stats suggest many enterprise organisations are still lagging behind in its adoption.

In the 2019 CEO Survey from PwC, 85% of New Zealand CEOs said they believe AI will significantly change the way they do business in the next five years. Yet only 39% of those CEOs are intending to introduce elements of AI over the next three years, while 30% have no plans at all. Disconnect or dissolution anyone…?

These enterprise adoption rates are in contrast to the behaviour of consumers, who largely use AI-driven technology without hesitation. We don’t have to look very far in our own worlds to see examples where it has surreptitiously become a part of our every day.

And it isn’t just new technology. In 2002, iRobot debuted its first domestic robot - the Roomba. This autonomous robotic vacuum cleaner quickly became popular. In fact within two years, over a million had been sold. Few would have given much consideration to the technology driving this machine, they were simply relieved to see a monotonous task taken off their hands.

Since then, it’s been proven, time and again, that if you give users what they want - something that makes their life easier - they’ll adopt it rapidly.

Today’s more familiar examples of AI technology demonstrate just how ubiquitous it has become. From the palm of our hand, most of us are accessing platforms such as Airbnb, Google Maps, Netflix and Uber.

Each of these solutions turn to algorithms, data and machine learning to present a personalised version of the platform to a user. The rate at which users are adopting platforms like these is only increasing and shows just how open we are to all aspects of our lives being transformed by technology - whether it’s at home, at work or in the community.

So why is it that enterprise organisations remain so fearful of change?

This cautious approach has the potential to do long-term damage. While enterprise organisations continue to put too much focus on commodity technology, emerging born-in-the-cloud solutions have the digital agility to compete and succeed in an increasingly democratised playing field.

In fact, if you’re waiting to implement AI technology in your business, you’re likely already too far behind. As we go deeper into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it’s an important acknowledgement for any business to make: that technology and digitisation is not just about the technology industry any more. That means that every business, irrespective of industry, must think like a digital business and do two things - adopt technology and build technology that serves both them and their customers.

The automotive industry is case in point. For many years, it’s largely remained unchanged, with limited new entrants to the market and little adaption to industry structure. Yet the industry as we know it is already going through transformation. Connected cars, electric vehicles and soon, autonomous driving. As industry lines blur, automobile manufacturers must think, act and evolve like a technology company in order to keep up.

Is that a challenge that your business is prepared for? Thinking like a digital business starts by viewing AI as augmented intelligence rather than artificial intelligence. With this shift in perspective, it’s easier to consider possibilities that support and enable human capabilities, while offering space for the human workforce to better fulfil their potential.

Our advice is to start small - but just start. Pick tasks that sit on the fringe of your business and consider how technology could assist. Expect that any technology introduced to your organisation should be viewed as a continuously learning and evolving entity - not one that is perfect or complete from the outset. With this in mind, it’s best to work with an experienced and specialist supplier who has the skills and expertise to help your business evolve and adapt as your data grows and your capabilities augment with the help of technology.

AI isn’t just the future; it’s a consideration that needs to happen today. So if you’re wondering how AI could play a part in transforming your business, let’s start the conversation.

Published by Ambit September 16, 2019