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An 8-Step Guide to Successful Organisational AI Adoption

By Tammy Wood, Director of Global Technical SEO at Automation Anywhere

Artificial intelligence is an exciting tool for today's businesses, offering many new opportunities including contact centre automation. It's also seen widespread uptake in the likes of Siri, Alexa, and other consumer-level technologies.

Unsurprisingly, AI is a key part of today's biggest businesses, such as Google and NVIDIA, and its use is only going to become widespread. If you're thinking of using AI in your own organization, now is a perfect time. This article will explain what AI is capable of, and how to use AI most effectively.

1.   Understand AI's Potential

Artificial intelligence is a useful yet complex area of technology. The first step to using it in your business is having a clear idea of what it can do.


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We can group AI uses into three areas:

  • Process automation - or dealing with mundane administrative tasks; transferring data from call centers into records, or making address changes for customers.
  • Cognitive insight - this covers tasks like predicting what a customer will buy or personalizing adverts for a specific customer.
  • Cognitive engagement - this includes providing customer service, answering questions posed by employees, and even recommending products and services to retailers.

2.   Identify Business Problems

Once you understand AI's broad capabilities, you need to match AI to specific tasks; AI is a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. If you've ever had to compare agile vs waterfall during software development, say, you'll understand this sentiment fully. You need to have a clear sense of what you will use AI for to get a return on your (significant) investment.

You might use a chatbot to answer common questions or guide customers towards important parts of the site. You may want to use AI to compare your business with your competitors'. You can even (in some cases) put AI to work on legal matters, like identifying problems with a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).

Alternatively, try looking for business tasks that are repetitive, high-volume, or clearly rules-based. It's likely that AI can play a significant part in these areas. If you work in ecommerce, for instance, look into projects such as automated shipping.

Keep in mind AI still has its limits, and can't replicate a human being's judgment or insight. While it's great for onboarding automation, for example, it has limited uses when you're actually searching for new recruits.

3.   Bring In Help


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At this stage, you'll still have questions and concerns, and you're not alone in this; many interested professionals have identified roadblocks to adopting AI in their business. That's why it's a great idea to bring in an external professional. They can clarify AI's capabilities and help you choose a simple AI project to start with.

Early projects can be completed in a few months, and work best when you bring together internal and external staff members. This ensures you have the right mix of skills; you and your own staff will understand how your business works and what it really needs. AI experts can build upon this knowledge to produce an effective AI solution, which will likely be an aid to day-to-day operations or service offerings.

Bear in mind that it may take a little time to find the right AI service for you. It's also important to understand AI doesn't offer an instant ROI: it requires time, understanding, and broader infrastructure investment to really deliver.

4.   Educate Your Staff

Staff members might not be familiar with AI, or they might have some negative preconceptions of AI. Before you begin to use AI widely, it's important you thoroughly explain AI to your broader workforce.

Start by explaining the ins and outs of your AI strategy to senior staff. It's important that they understand and are on board with AI at this point; you're a team, and you need to be working towards the same goal. It also ensures they can explain AI to the rest of your staff, and moderate any fears they might have.

Try highlighting established AI to demystify them; virtual assistants such as Siri may already be used by your staff, and clearly illustrate AI's potential. You might also highlight common uses for AI in small businesses like office management, lead nurturing, and customer feedback.

It's possible that your staff will have some anxiety about wider AI use. Emphasize that AI is an assistant to employees rather than a replacement.

5.   Consolidate Your Data


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AI needs large quantities of data in order to work properly. This is because AI offers solutions by analyzing the information given to it. Therefore, you need to make sure your data is as good as it can be before it gets passed to AI.

Part of this means bringing all your data into a single space as data that's useful to AI is often spread across different systems or business groups. Early AI projects don't need to worry about this too much, because you'll only be using a small quantity of data. If you want to take AI seriously, you need to make sure data isn't mislabelled or low-quality for AI-driven solutions to be useful.

You also need to consider the infrastructure surrounding your AI. While cloud-based services are important, good AI requires things like scalable data storage, network infrastructure, and appropriate physical hardware.

6.   Use AI Ethically

AI is a blessing to today's businesses, but it also demands serious ethical considerations. A business needs to make sure it's not using AI at the expense of its customers' dignity and privacy. A recent example of this is the Apple Card, whose algorithm was accused of sexist decision-making.


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AI ethics are still evolving, and places such as the UK don't have any AI-specific legislation at the time of publishing. However, people are protected by other pieces of legislation (like the Equality Act) which businesses should consider in their AI strategies. As a general guideline, businesses should always be transparent about how their AI works.

They should respect the privacy of their users and not use data in ways they haven't explicitly agreed to. If AI threatens individual jobs, businesses also need to inform employees of these risks and help them retrain.

7.   Think About Scaling

As RPA tools have demonstrated, today's AI has multiple uses. Those uses are only going to expand, and it's worth considering how you want to scale AI within your business.

In the early days of using it, you'll probably be sticking with tried-and-true AI solutions - something that you expand across your business more widely. As time goes by, you might want to look at AI products that are still developing or even AI in its infancy. These AI options can help you solve both more specific and unwieldy problems within your business.

Again, remember that whatever AI product you choose needs to serve your business interests, not the other way round.

8.   Consider What Makes You Different


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Businesses need to stay ahead of competitors, through their choice of software testing methodologies and other practices. A similar idea applies to AI - businesses need to think about how their use of AI separates them from their rivals.

Open Your Doors to AI

One way to give your business an edge (at least in the short term) is by expanding your in-house AI knowledge, via a center of excellence or other initiatives. For AI to maintain its usefulness it needs engineers, data analysts, IT professionals, and other skilled workers. By bringing in these professionals (either by hiring new individuals or retraining existing employees), moving forward, your business can fully embrace AI.



Tammy Wood 

Tammy Wood the Director of Technical SEO at Automation Anywhere, has 20+ years in the SEO industry, often attending industry conferences world-wide. In her opinion the best part of SEO is always the constant learning.

Published Monday, August 16, 2021 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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