By Ajay Pandey, Senior Group Vice President for Delivery and Professional Services, CriticalRiver
Digital transformation (DX) is not just a differentiator but a matter of survival in the modern business world. And while a maelstrom of technologies, including cloud computing, mobility, IoT, and AR-VR, are delivering value and creating better experiences for customers, studies show that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play the most crucial role in driving businesses through DX. That said, while leading tech companies such as Amazon, Netflix, and Google use AI and Machine Learning (ML) at scale in their core business processes, small and medium-sized enterprises often struggle to expand their machine learning projects beyond a small pilot scope.
In a Deloitte survey involving 2,875 executives from 11 top economies, 79% of leading digital transformers (as against 49% of the starters) stated that their AI initiatives are essential to their market competitiveness. As a catalyst for digital transformation, AI helps companies become more data-driven, accelerate innovation, strengthen decision-making and increase productivity with better resource utilization in crucial business functions and domains.
Improved Customer Engagement: Chatbots that answer routine customer queries are the most commonly used AI-based applications in customer service. Additionally, AI also supports innovative case classification tools that route customers’ queries to relevant agents or pre-recorded messages for quick and accurate resolution of their concerns. In another application, AI-recommendation engines like Amazon algorithms analyse customer surfing patterns to cross-sell related products, boost engagement, and help buyers fulfil their needs seamlessly. Besides, businesses also actively use AI to confirm customer identities, validate warranties and analyse customer behavior through natural language processing (NLP) for actionable CRM insights.
Enhanced Sales and Marketing Outcomes: The top use cases of AI for marketing and sales include data analysis, NLP, media buying, content development, real-time personalization, and automated decision-making. AI tools use various datasets and customer profiles to strategize the best ways to interact with customers with bespoke messages at the right time. CMOs can capitalize on AI opportunities, optimize their digital channels, and maximize the ROI from marketing budgets. AI makes it easier to test and scale marketing campaigns.
Heightened IT and Security: By helping scan IT systems for unusual behavior and spot vulnerabilities, AI-powered tools can help raise timely alerts on possible cyber-attacks. As per Capgemini Research Institute, 69% of the enterprises stated that AI innovations enabled them to prevent cyber security issues and respond more effectively to data breach attempts.
When it comes to workspace and personal account protection, AI offers biometrics, multi-factor authentication, generating and automating complex passwords, and configuring access to specific accounts only for authorized users.
Streamlined Operations: While AI’s exact impact on your revenue-generating operations depends on the nature of your enterprise, it can be categorized into a few broad segments:
-Collecting, storing and organizing data using custom systems
-Automating workflows for mundane and routine tasks
-Preventing downtime with anomaly detection procedures
-Demand forecasting and managing resource allocation
Organizations can attain sustainable growth by strategically harnessing AI’s capabilities to augment human skills and boost innovation while driving digital transformation.
Optimized HR and Procurement: AI can be leveraged to manage the employee lifecycle from onboarding and training to skill management and improve the employee experience. Seamless digital transformation of HR becomes feasible with AI’s support for:
-Customizing job advertisements and selecting candidates through predictive analytics
-Structuring up-skilling workshops and learning and development programs
-Enabling managers to automate valuable data
-Building safe and healthy workplaces and designing employee self-service portals
Today AI offers candidates the ability to access intelligent forums to send job applications, and companies can use bespoke AI tools to organize and schedule interviews. Enterprises can also use contract lifecycle management applications such as SAP Ariba to optimize procurement processes. The app employs cognitive tech to drive better contract negotiations, visibility into spending and vendor relationships, meaningful communication with suppliers, cost improvements, and identifying new vendors.
The Road Ahead
A McKinsey study found that 50% of businesses had adopted AI in at least one business function. And according to Accenture, AI can improve business profitability by 38% by 2035. It has the power to simplify complex tasks and analyse and respond to environmental trends. It also helps organizations evolve and learn based on historical and current data. Enterprises can achieve their digital transformation goals within planned timelines and budgets by proactively integrating business processes with evolved AI techniques.
The key lies in leveraging the right AI-ML solution to help you generate more value from your operations while enriching the customer and employee experience at every touchpoint.