By Romi Mahajan, CEO ExoFusion and Dharmesh Godha, President Advaiya
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has taken the world by storm. Though the idea has been around for seven decades at a minimum, recent advances- coupled with a massive communication effort- have put AI front and center. As it pertains to business, there is scarcely a company that doesn’t make some sort of AI claim; it is however important to separate the reality from the rhetoric.
Still, the AI reality is here. A variety of functions and industries have already been changed by AI and many are soon to be transformed. Some “elements” of business have already been radically changed but as a whole, we’re just scratching the surface.
As with all large technological changes, there is a progression of events that ensues- with the following five steps—
1. Innovation and Newness
2. Piecemeal Adoption
3. Verticalized Operationalization
5. Disruption by the Next Innovation
With AI we are ready for stage three- Verticalized Operationalization.
While we agree that the phrase is unpoetic, we chose it for a reason. Verticalization is absolutely key for widespread adoption. While some functions or pieces can be AI-driven, in the absence of deep context (of business practices, regulatory frameworks, engineering processes, customer behavior, and industry nuance), AI becomes “that thing” that everyone talks about but no one does. If AI is not operationalized, it remains part of a “priesthood” that doesn’t communicate or connect with the rest of us.
As such, Verticalized AI is the next frontier. AI services and products companies need to be tested against vertical knowledge and applicability. As we know well from enterprise software, no one size fits all.
No doubt AI brings opportunities and risks. Both of these have vertical considerations; the shadow can be cast long.
AI teams cannot be hermetically sealed from the business; instead they must be an integral part; similarly, teams from all aspects of the business must work with engineering and AI teams to inform the entire development process and refinement. We call this “Inherent Verticalization.”
AI is here. But how deep will it infuse all things business? That is yet to be seen. But the next frontier is upon us.