Artificial intelligence (AI) and AI bot development are no longer the sole preserve of large corporations and scientists. AI bots are becoming available for businesses of all sizes.
AI is a technology that will transform businesses. To date, we have only seen the tip of the AI iceberg. And, no one is 100% certain of what lies beneath the surface. So, how can you prepare your business for this revolution that is coming soon? How can you prepare for a revolution that will bring changes that no one can predict with any certainty? The answer is; you must begin making cautious and measured preparations now.
Learn About What AI has to Offer Your Business
The first thing you should do to prepare for AI is to get key staff in your business thinking about the technology. AI is an emerging technology. So, avoid any preconceptions that may have about the AI bots and AI bot development. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that AI bots are only chatbots. Look further afield at what AI may be able to do for your business in the future. Look at how your competitors are implementing AI. Look at how AI is being implemented in businesses outside of your own niche market. Research where AI bots are likely to go next and how to prepare your business for AI Bot development. Here are a few of the business processes that AI bots are already automating:
- Intruder detection
- Answering users’ technical questions
- Automating production management
- Internal compliance monitoring
- Anticipating customer purchases
- Monitoring social media
- Financial trading
- Automated call distribution
Understand Your Business Needs
It is important that businesses don’t begin to use AI technology for the sake of having AI. Businesses should use AI bots and define AI Bot development projects to meet a defined business need.
A support desk that provides award-winning support services, for example, may not need AI bots. In this case, using chatbots to answer support calls might be a backward step for the business.
If a support desk is overrun with calls, though, Chatbots might improve the service. They could reduce waiting times and reduce the number of customer complaints.
The starting point for preparing for AI bots is to understand your business needs. Don’t look for the business processes that AI could fit. Identify the business processes that AI Bots could improve.
Set Realistic Expectations for AI Bot Development Projects
AI is not the solution to everything. Customer service bots are great for very busy call centers. But, if you only receive a few calls a day, AI would not be necessary. AI bots are also useful for data mining. But, if your data set is small, a human would be able to complete the job as fast, because there would be no setup time involved.
Instead of trying to revolutionize your business overnight, start with something small. Start by looking at automating a small task that is currently time-consuming or very expensive to complete and defining an AI Bot development project to achieve that objective. Implementing AI will be a steep learning curve for all businesses. It is better that you learn by first implementing AI to complete a minor task. Then, you can start thinking about AI for mission-critical tasks.
Don’t Forget the Staff
Using AI bots is likely to have a big impact on your staff. It will bring new challenges and staff will need retraining. Staff will also have concerns about job security when you begin to use AI bots. So, it will be important to address the needs of the staff as a part of your AI strategy.
Provide employees with training so that they can work with AI bots. Think ahead about how employees might need to move into new roles. AI is likely to change the roles that people fill rather than replace the need for people. If you want artificial intelligence to deliver results, you will need to train your employees on how to work with and manage AI bots.
Start Preparing Your IT Infrastructure Now
One of the major potentials of AI for businesses is that it can use data from many different sources. This might be combining internal customer data with market research data, for example. Combining data from different systems can be a challenge. Especially if those systems cannot already communicate with each other.
AI bots will be able to perform more than one or two functions in a business. In the future, AI will work across all business systems. The use of AI will impact all areas of a business. Transitioning to AI will be easier if all your systems sit on a common platform. The easier it is for systems to share data, the easier it will be to sit AI bots over the top of all those systems. This is something that businesses can build into their IT strategies now.
AI is something that will need to revisit on a regular basis. You will need to track the progress of your own implementations of AI bots. And, you will need to keep abreast of new developments in AI. AI is with us today, but it’s got a long to go. So, the best way to begin using AI in business is to introduce it in small steps — perhaps starting with a few carefully defined AI Bot development projects. The first step is to start preparing for now.