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There’s a growing curiosity around the role of AI in business. People are wondering where AI fits into their organization, which AI apps are useful, and which can be ignored. ChatGPT set the recent AI surge in motion, making AI more tangible and accessible to the masses. It’s no longer a vague concept. We’re seeing real world use cases of AI influencing the way we work. However, as organizations shift their attention toward AI, there’s a lot of uncertainty around how to approach it.    

It’s important to understand the implications of AI and how to think strategically about where it fits in your organization. 

Below are a few recommendations for how to approach AI amid the hype and countless applications available. 

1. Identify Where to Use AI

While AI holds great promise, not every application will be beneficial or necessary for your organization. It’s crucial to identify the areas where AI can provide real value to your business. This begins by identifying the challenges and pain points within your organization that could be alleviated with AI. Start by focusing on the problems that need solving rather than the solutions.  

Some key questions to answer during this process: 

  • Customer responsiveness – Are there areas in the organization slowing down customer responsiveness? 
  • Repetitive tasks – Are there pockets of highly repetitive tasks requiring a lot of people to accomplish simple objectives? 
  • Market competition – Where are the pain points when going head-to-head in the market? Where can you leapfrog the competition? 
  • Processes – Are there bottlenecks in processes that prevent the organization from being nimble? 
  • Knowledge sharing – Where are there opportunities to improve knowledge sharing within the organization? 

Bottom line: Don’t implement AI for the sake of AI. 

2. Understand AI’s Current Capabilities & Limitations

As of 2023, AI has strong capabilities, but it’s not a magic wand. AI is not capable of creative thinking, understanding human emotion, or strategic planning—these are areas where humans excel. AI can’t process nuance to the same degree. For now, AI should not be seen as a replacement for human labor, but as a powerful tool to make us more efficient.

To effectively implement AI, certain skillsets will be required to monitor, maintain, and continually reevaluate AI as it grows. So humans are still part of the equation.

3. Start Small and Scale Up

A common mistake organizations make when implementing AI is trying to do too much too soon. A better approach is to start small, test, and learn. Choose a specific process, task, or business function that could benefit from AI. Implement, test, measure the results, and learn from the experience. For example, you might use AI to analyze your sales data and identify patterns that can inform your sales strategy. Once you’ve seen success on a smaller scale, you can gradually scale up and apply AI to more complex tasks and larger business functions.  

4. Develop an AI Strategy  

Just like any technology or ERP implementation, incorporating AI requires thorough planning, analysis, and training. While many employees are using ChatGPT (and possibly a few other tools) for their own purposes, anything implemented across the entire organization will impact processes, roles, budgets, and overall operations.  

Some of the major steps an AI strategy should include are:

Aligning the organization – A big hurdle during any implementation is aligning the organization around the initiative. Everyone needs to understand why the AI tool is beneficial, how it will be used, who has ownership, etc. Change can be difficult, so creating support early on is important. Organizations will also need an implementation team with the right skills, decision-making authority, and follow-through. 

Understanding business requirements – What are current processes and how will they be improved with AI? For implementation success, business process requirements must be laid out step by step. Specifics are important when mapping out processes. It eliminates confusion and lack of direction in the long run. 

Training and clear communication – Decisions should be communicated among the project team throughout the project, and when it’s time to roll out the new tool, training will help employees confidently use the new system. Training should provide employees with the initials tools and knowledge they need to understand the system. Usability directly influences adoption rates.  

The strategy will likely also include selecting the right tool, finding an implementation partner, rolling it out, and refining roles and responsibilities—the same things required for a successful technology implementation of any kind.

At Trenegy, we help organizations select and implement the right technology to make them more efficient and effective in the long-run. For more information, reach out to us at info@trenegy.com.

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