In recent years, an increasing number of companies have embraced the idea of becoming digital enterprises. A successful digital enterprise often involves new technologies and a variety of projects to complete a digital transformation. Since a digital transformation is a journey rather than a single project, it can be difficult to measure the return on the company's investment using traditional methods. Nevertheless, organizations typically want to accelerate the ROI as much as possible. With the advances in AI technology, however, the ROI can be achieved faster, and the transformation can be more extensive and easier as well.
How Digital Enterprises Are Using AI Technology
Companies have been using artificial intelligence to provide personalized experiences for about a decade. Netflix was one of the early adopters of AI, using it to offer personalized recommendations based on each viewer's past selections. However, for the past three years or so, companies have increasingly employed AI for other purposes.
- Cognitive Automation: Certain digital tasks can be automated so that human intervention is not required. One example would be AI-enhanced automation of the process to replace a lost ATM card.
- Cognitive Engagement: Cognitive engagement initiatives typically focus on customer-facing applications. A growing number of companies are using cognitive engagement for their customer service departments in the form of virtual digital assistants.
- Cognitive Insights: Granular insights and pattern identification are two of the hallmarks of cognitive insights. For example, a bank might want to identify credit fraud in real-time. Another use is to identify images and assign them a label or category; EX Squared recently developed an application that used AI to identify and automatically tag thousands of product images. The tagging made the images searchable, improving the user experience and SEO while reducing manual labor.
AI technology, big data analytics and the Internet of Things are more likely to be adopted by enterprises that are leading the way in digital transformation, according to research conducted by SAP and Oxford Economics. AI-powered technology is expected to grow very quickly during the next two years; an increasing number of digital transformation leaders are embracing AI as a way to help increase revenue and profits while strengthening customer relationships.
Businesses seeking to gain a definitive, competitive edge are investing in digital technologies that will harness the power data-driven marketing campaigns and business decisions. Big data analytics, IoT technologies and AI-enhanced applications are helping companies automate routine, repetitive actions, allowing their employees to focus on strategy and creativity. In particular, digital enterprises are expecting their AI solutions to provide them with deeper insights that allow them to make better decisions. Improving the user experience is also high on their list of expectations; engaging users through chatbots is just one way that AI can help organizations achieve this goal. In short, the leading digital enterprises are using AI to fuel innovation throughout the business rather just around the fringes.
Although a few people have expressed fear that AI will replace humans in the workplace, the truth is that AI technology is not sufficiently advanced to represent a threat. AI can free humans from mind-numbing, repetitive tasks, but machines are not yet capable of replacing human judgment on complex issues, particularly situations in which the desired outcome is not easily described in words or is based strictly on an emotion that is impossible to translate into machine language. In the foreseeable future, the true advantage of AI will be the fusion of the computational speed of a machine and the judgment of a human for enabling an organization to complete its digital transformation journey in less time and at less cost.