How CIOs can take the lead in implementing AI in their businesses
THERE is little doubt that artificial intelligence (AI) will help enterprises across industries to unlock significant business potential while transforming the sector at the same time.
The technology has become increasingly robust in the last decade, and more and more companies and government agencies have been deploying AI.
However, to truly reap the benefits AI technology has to offer, businesses need to adapt AI on a bigger scale, creating bigger valuer for the enterprise.
To this end, CIOs in every enterprise should lead the way, work across business lines, to be in charge of implementing AI in every department.
While it may not be conventional, CIOs must evolve beyond just executing and must now start thinking about how to deliver solutions derived from technology to increase business value.
Here are four ways how CIOs can lead the change in implementing AI in their companies:
# 1 | Recognize AI will be a start-to-finish journey
Far too many businesses fail to integrate AI across their enterprise because they’re afraid of the potential risk of adopting new technology.
Unfortunately, these piecemeal approaches tend to be built in layers and replace one part of the process, adding very little value, making minimal difference, while increasing the cost of operation.
One example is the customer service chatbots that performs basic tasks of responding to FAQs, but when a case is escalated to a human agent, the customer usually has to repeat their complaints and other information.
This could potentially lead to a negative customer experience.
The onus is on the CIO to smoothen and iron out the kinks in technology adoption that have been developing across the layers of the business, and adopt AI-powered solutions in vertical chunks rather than horizontal ones.
# 2 | Collaborate with HR for employee reskilling exercise
The global demand for developers and data scientist to create AI processes far outpaces the supply, and there is only a finite number of college graduates that can fill the positions.
And thus, CIOs should work closely with the organization’s HR department to develop programs that retrain, reskills, and repurposes the company’s talent pool.
IT and business professionals within a company should be sought out to become data scientists, filling the skills gap while at the same time creating value for the business.
# 3 | Advocate future technology investments
At this moment, AI and automation can sufficiently support operations of individual enterprises to add value and reduce cost, but the culture of the company has to be receptive to such change.
Any message about the investment and migration to innovative tech such as AI has to come from the CIO of the company, to ensure that everything is aligned with the company’s goals.
With an engaged CIO, a culture of innovation and acceptance can be fostered in any enterprise.
# 4 | Allay ethical concerns
One of the main concerns in deploying AI and machine learning is the data it requires to function effectively. Naturally, companies can be a bit protective of their data, due to the risk of data breach, among other things.
However, CIOs can help alleviate the fears by taking all the necessary measures that protect against any cybersecurity issues as well as biased algorithms.
CIOs need to have a clear idea on what is the purpose of AI within the companies’ operations before deploying it and feeding the data it requires.
In a nutshell, AI has the potential to transform a business by reducing costs, creating new market opportunities, and adding a competitive edge to the company — but it depends on how much the company invests and is able to adopt the technology to its operations.
CIOs everywhere have to step up and spearhead the AI adoption projects to ensure the technology is fully utilized to unlock its promises.
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