3 shifts towards becoming an AI-augmented business


Published on: September 2023

Written by: Peter Mulford

How ready is your organization for AI?

According to AMD, 50 percent of enterprises are at risk of lagging behind in AI adoption. For those that are prepared or preparing, the shift from “What is AI?” to “How do I think strategically about using AI?” has occurred at an astonishing speed. This haste is mission critical – with AI’s potential to disrupt, adopting this new technology fast is essential for businesses who plan to be around five or even ten years from now.

While the specifics vary by organization, there are three shifts that all organizations need to make to test their own AI fluency:

  1. Take A.I.M.
    Adopting AI goes beyond selecting the right models or services — it requires a blend of Application development, Infrastructure, and Measurable outcomes. In the short term, it is both possible and advisable to tinker with “off the shelf” solutions. In the long term, however, getting the most out of AI will require building a more robust infrastructure that flexes as the technology evolves, ties to the business needs and strategy, and links to the organization’s sought-after outcomes. Therein lies an opportunity to ramp up your team’s AI acumen, staying ahead of “I.M.” as the technology advances. Creating the expertise in-house and specifically in support of your AI strategy – whether through upskilling, strategic vendor partnerships, or a mix of both – will be the differentiator.

    • Tip to get started: Build in a learning and training component to continuously upskill teams on current and emerging AI technologies and their roles in driving the business.
  1. Get ahead of the risks.
    Adopting AI is a complex issue, given a heightened awareness around its potential pitfalls. The task requires a level of AI acumen necessary to get and stay clear on the ethical and business-related risks associated with AI, as public and regulatory backlash arises due to issues of bias, security, and misuse. As you develop your AI acumen, you’ll want your team to get ahead of those risks by 1) partnering with firms and 2) investing in technologies that emphasize ethics and accountability in addition to costs and benefits. It can be easy to avoid this element, whether from fear or inertia; because that won’t serve you or your organization well, today is a good day to get ahead of tomorrow’s risks.

    • Tip to get started: Proactively develop a specific workstream and assign an accountable leader to guide, track, advise and manage the risk component as a core element of your AI strategy.
  1. Lean in on the people side.
    Adopting AI is a fundamentally different way of looking at how people work with technology to deliver their work — it’s an act that requires specific mindset shifts and skillset shifts for roles and people across the organization. Such shifts should help leaders, teams, and ultimately the enterprise 1) become comfortable with disrupting themselves, 2) grapple with privacy and data use concerns, and 3) innovate new pricing, product, and process strategies, among others. The challenge – and the opportunity – is to get specific about what needs to change and how to make the change happen, as well as keep up the momentum so that you can get to value more quickly.

    • Tip to get started: Consider conducting a culture assessment to uncover the specific organizational and individual mindsets that are most in the way (or conversely, the most leverageable) to drive the kinds of behavior changes you need to adopt AI.
In summary, the business world is making some exciting shifts to capture the benefits of some intriguing technology. By focusing on these three ideas, organizations can successfully become AI-augmented as well. Exciting times ahead!

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