Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a powerful tool that is currently transforming the digital world at an astonishing rate. The global market for artificial intelligence is expected to experience a compound annual growth rate of 52% by 2025. In the UK alone, AI is predicted to provide up to £630 billion in gross value added (GVA) to the economy. From automating mundane tasks to personalising customer experiences, AI is used for a wide variety of purposes within organisations, which also includes revolutionising digital transformation across sectors.
Digital transformation is crucial for businesses who want to keep pace with competitors. But with so many businesses adopting digital strategies, what will set you apart from the rest and increase your digital transformation success rate? Businesses risk falling behind if they do not evaluate their operations and adopt digital technologies, whether that’s for internal practices or customer experience.
Could AI be the answer to supporting businesses in scaling their operations and accelerating their digital transformation journey? There are a number of specific AI technologies that businesses are most interested in developing in order to enhance their existing tech stack and improve efficiencies, such as deep learning, intelligent robots and neuro-linguistic programming. Let’s explore the various ways AI can be used to supercharge your digital transformation strategies in 2023.
Read more about the latest digital transformation trends.
What is the difference between AI and automation?
Artificial Intelligence is a term that is often used interchangeably with automation, however, there are key differences between the two.
Unlike automation, AI has the ability to learn from experience, rather than act on pre-programmed instructions. This gives it the ability to react to new information and unexpected changes, and have self-correcting capabilities.
AI is essentially a simulation of human intelligence that feeds off large amounts of learning data, analysing this data for correlations or patterns to then provide future predictions. As a result, AI can be extremely useful in a variety of business scenarios, for example, to produce text, analyse data and even inform business decisions.
5 Benefits of AI for digital transformation
- Harness your organisation’s data
- Take a customer-centric approach
- Improve IT security
- Provide reliable on-demand services
- Improve efficiency and reduce costs
1. Harness your organisation’s data
Digital transformation produces a large amount of data that would be near-impossible to manage and use in a timely manner, without the help of AI technology.
Data is a key pillar in digital transformation. When leveraged correctly, vast amounts of data can be used to gain a better understanding of your business and your customers, and help leaders make smarter business decisions. However, it is how you analyse this data that will determine how effective your insights will be.
AI technology can help you get the most out of your data, giving you the ability to transform raw data into actionable insights, without the need to manually sieve through large data sets. Manual data analysis can be time-consuming and tedious, not to mention prone to human error. Effective data management can help you analyse weaknesses in your businesses and identify where more efficient, digital solutions should be implemented.
2. Take a customer-centric approach
Digital transformation is not just beneficial for your internal processes, but can also be used to improve customer experience. Using AI to gain a better understanding of your target customer base can inform your digital transformation strategy from the very beginning and ensure you are implementing technology that will effectively meet your customers’ needs.
Many organisations are using data to transform themselves in order to provide a better experience for their customers. For instance, data insights can help you update internal processes to meet customer demand, develop technology to improve communication with clients, release new product features to better serve user intent and provide an overall improved customer experience.
3. Improve IT security
Security is an integral consideration when it comes to digital transformation that businesses cannot afford to overlook. Digitalising your business means handling sensitive business information and even client data, which must be protected from malicious software and hackers.
AI technologies can be leveraged to improve the security of your IT infrastructure and protect your data and technology assets from external threats. AI uses machine learning that can detect patterns and deviations or irregularities in your network, which could be potential security threats.
Although this is traditionally carried out by a Cyber Security professional, AI is able to handle multiple cyber attacks and larger amounts of data. It can also offer a faster detection and response time. This is critical for businesses in order to avoid sensitive data breaches, which could result in significant financial losses, legal consequences and reputational damage.
4. Provide reliable on-demand services
With the rise of remote and hybrid working models, as well as growing customer expectations, providing reliable, on-demand services is now more important than ever. As part of catering for the new normal and meeting these customer expectations, businesses are required to update their technology on a regular basis and react quickly to bugs. This is key to preventing programme downtime, which could impact user experience, and lead to internal inefficiencies or financial losses.
With the ability to detect irregularities in data as they arise, AI provides a powerful tool that can be used to identify bugs, suggest improvements or even make the appropriate corrections when required. As a result, businesses can offer a seamless experience and reduce the amount of downtime for either internal teams or customers. Likewise, in the event that fixes will take slightly longer, you can employ an AI chatbot to offer on-demand support.
5. Improve efficiency and reduce costs
As with any new technology, there are financial implications that come with implementing AI technology within your organisation. However, while the initial investment in staff and technology may seem high, AI technology has the potential to significantly benefit your business in the long run.
With global spend on digital transformation expected to reach $3.4 trillion by 2026, organisations will require significant budgets to realise their digital transformation ambitions. For many, this will include setting aside funds for the development, implementation and maintenance of artificial intelligence.
Despite the initial investment, McKinsey reports that 63% of businesses that have adopted AI have experienced an increase in ROI. The sectors most likely to report increases in ROI are marketing and sales, product and service development, and supply-chain management.
With many tasks able to be completed by an AI machine, expert teams can spend time on more valuable tasks that will drive greater business value. Similarly, automating certain tasks may result in the need for less human staff, which can also cut down hiring and training costs to some extent - customer service costs for instance. However, instead, you will need to reallocate the budget to hiring teams that can maintain this technology.
Leveraging AI can also help reduce human error, which accounts for a large proportion of organisational financial losses. Let’s take a look at payroll as an example. New research shows that human error when handling payroll costs businesses on average £150,000 annually, which could be easily avoided with the help of AI technology!
Building a future-proof digital team who can support the ever-growing demand for digital solutions and keep pace with AI advancements is key to helping you on your way with digital transformation. After all, cultivating a digital mindset company-wide and reaching your full digital potential all starts with your people. Beyond this, you will also require the technical expertise and digital skills to actually develop and maintain these technologies.
Therefore, to keep up with the demands of AI, businesses are required to invest in their teams, hiring and training AI experts to support their digital transformation goals. McKinsey surveys reveal 83% of businesses expect some of their workforce to be retrained in the next three years because of AI adoption, with 38% reporting that at least a quarter of their workforce is likely to be retrained. So, if you want to excel in a competitive market, this is certainly something you should consider.
However, hiring and training staff can be a costly process, with UK employers spending over £1,000 per employee for training and sacrificing valuable employee time to train new starters. When it comes to securing the future success of your organisation in the most efficient way, we recommend that you involve the experts for all of your hiring and training needs.
At FDM, we are a talent solutions partner with over 30 years of experience hiring, training and deploying top tech talent across the world. We can help you source the right talent for your teams and help facilitate your digital transformation journey, offering everything from cloud computing to Robotic Process Automation.
Now’s the time to revolutionise your business and make waves in your industry, but you’ll need the right team to help get you there. Check out FDM’s consultant services to find out how our highly-skilled technical consultants can support your business goals and help you on your digital transformation journey.