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5 Crucial Steps to Investing in AI for Your Business

It’s no secret that demand for artificial intelligence is growing. Among concepts like automation and 5G, AI represents one of the most exciting emerging technologies in the world. We can use it for everything from managing and understanding data, to offering customer support. Currently, many companies anticipate they’ll be investing more dollars into both machine learning and artificial intelligence going forward. However, just like with the adoption of any new innovation, it’s crucial not to rush into your AI plans without the correct strategy. AI delivers the best results when it’s implemented with a clear vision. If you’re keen to start bringing more intelligence into your website, here are just some of the steps you’ll need to take to begin with.

Identify Your Unique Needs

This might sound like an obvious step, but a surprisingly large number of companies rush into their AI initiatives without really thinking about what their company needs. AI isn’t just a catch-all technology for business transformation. There are multiple different kinds of intelligence out there and assessing your unique pain points and business goals will help you to decide what kind of solution you should be getting involved with.

Start by assessing the biggest problems currently holding your business back. For instance, you might be struggling to compete with your competitors based on their excellent customer service. Or perhaps you’re currently in the middle of moving to a hybrid work strategy and you want to make it easier to manage and support your employees wherever they are. Once you’ve identified these pain points, ask yourself how you’d like to change them. What would be the ideal outcome for your AI investment? For instance, do you want to offer more self-service options for customers, so they get resolutions to their problems faster, while your staff members end up with less pressure to contend with?

Determine Your Budget

Notably, AI can be either a very expensive, or cost-effective investment, depending on what you want to accomplish. Having a good idea of what you can afford to spend on your initiative from day one should help to stop you from getting carried away when you’re looking for the best technology. Think about how much you can afford to spend based on your IT budget, or R&D cash. If you’re just starting a new business, you may need to consider looking into various forms of financing for this part of growing your business, like getting a personal loan from a private lender. Whatever you’re going to use to pay for your AI initiative, make sure you have a clear view of how much you’re willing to spend, and how much your strategy is likely to cost. Giving yourself a little extra leeway by planning to pay up to 20% more should help to protect you from any nasty surprises if there’s a cost you’ve forgotten to consider.

Explore Your Options

Once you know your budget, you can begin looking for potential AI solutions to your problems. In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, there are a number of ways to potentially get involved with AI as a way of fixing common issues. For instance, if your main pain point is that you’re struggling to support your remote workers, you might consider using an AI-enhanced assistant for your employees to help them get answers to their questions faster.

Alternatively, you could use AI automation to remove some of the repetitive tasks eating up your employees’ time, so they feel more productive and efficient at work. You could even look at AI as a tool for automatically collecting information about employee performance and issuing it to your supervisors, so your management teams know exactly which staff members need the most help. Getting your entire shareholder team involved in exploring the various options available for AI enhancements is often a good option here. You’ll need everyone to feel equally excited about the idea of implementing AI.

Find Partners to Work With

Once you know what kind of technology you want to get involved with, the next step is finding partners and other companies you’re willing to work with. There are tons of specialists out there capable of offering a wide range of excellent tools for today’s transforming businesses. You’ll need to do your research to find the solution best suited to you.

For instance, if you’re looking for a company to help you understand how chat bots work and build bots for self-service in your contact center, you’d start by looking for companies who have extensive experience creating similar tools for other major brands. Discuss your options with these companies and find out what kind of background they have working with brands like yours. The ideal AI provider should be a flexible and scalable company capable of providing you with all the extra support and knowledge you need when implementing the ideal AI offering.

Constantly Optimize and Improve

After you’ve found partners to work with on your AI initiative, and you’ve begun to implement your new solutions, the next step is simply tracking your results, and responding to what you learn. With your vision of what you hope to achieve with AI in mind, concentrate on constantly optimizing and improving your strategy. For instance, if you’re implementing AI specifically for the purpose of improving customer service, you can track metrics like customer satisfaction and employee productivity rates to determine whether the money you’re spending on your initiatives is paying off in the long-term.

Use your reports and analytics to make intelligent decisions about where to increase your investment in AI, and how you can change your strategy in certain areas. Investing in AI is something many major businesses are going to be spending more time and money doing in the modern world. However, like any major transformation project, it’s important not to rush into your new AI initiative too quickly. Take the time to do your research and implement the right plan of action from day one. The result should be better results, fewer unexpected costs, and improved outcomes for your entire team.

 

Author avatar
Arvind Lakshminarayanan

Arvind is the editor-in-chief of Big Data Made Simple. He is also a content specialist at Crayon Data.