Artificial Intelligence is now on everyone’s lips and due to the explosion of Generative AI, is also now at anyone’s fingertips. But what many organisations are struggling with is understanding the real benefits that AI can bring and importantly how to get started with a Data and AI Transformation.  

You can’t ignore AI

The AI market in the UK is set to reach $12 billion in 2024 and is projected to grow 14.14% by 2030 to $26.53 billion (Statista). Significant growth and a game changer in many sectors, particularly in those based on the knowledge economy. But there are many questions. What can it really do? How do you begin to implement it? Will it replace people? Is it a threat or an opportunity.

Threat or opportunity

In the wrong hands AI can be a huge potential threat. Hackers developing deep fakes and pushing out fake news can instantly damage a brand and have lingering negative impacts. Even for genuine businesses, badly implemented AI can not only put your brand at risk but also your customer’s data. 

New AI Act

The European Parliament has approved new ‘GDPR type’ regulation to control what they view as a potential untamed beast that munches up and misuses our data and infringes upon fundamental rights. The new AI Act establishes obligations for AI based on its potential risks and level of impact. Will the UK follow? 

EU AI Act

Innovation

In contrast, what’s enticing about AI are the possible opportunities and benefits and these outweigh the negatives. AI has captured imaginations and encourages rapid innovation.

For example, AI is revolutionising healthcare, assisting with diagnosing diseases, developing personalised treatment plans, and assisting clinicians with decision-making. Adopting AI is not about automating a person out of a job but enhancing their ability to do it better. Using machine intelligence to improve the human experience is the goal. 

Impact

AI can touch every area of a business, but Marketing in particular is seeing rapid adoption and a positive impact. Savvy marketers are utilising AI to increase productivity and improve data analytics for better personalisation and insight on targeting and spending. According to The CMO Survey adoption of AI has been positive with marketing leaders reporting: 

  • Sales productivity has improved by 6.2% 
  • Customer satisfaction improved by 7.0% 
  • Marketing overhead costs have decreased by 7.2% 

 For those with a cautious AI outlook, Marketing is a good place to test out AI. It’s worth noting though that whilst productive impact is excellent, what machines can’t do is totally replace human creativity or the emotional connection created by good marketers. So, brands should use AI to augment and innovate rather than totally replace people.  

The AI Journey

CEOs know they need to get to grips with AI or get left behind but knowing how to weave AI into an organisation’s culture, sales and marketing, customer experience and product/service can be a challenge. In our experience, whilst some organisations have an emerging vision of their AI needs, the digital maturity of many is low when it comes to realising these needs.  

Get your Data in order 

When starting on your AI journey, one of the most critical areas to focus on first is your data and your data environment. AI output is only as good the data that you put in, so ensuring you have excellent quality data and a robust Data Strategy that includes Data Governance and Risk Management is absolutely crucial to success. Without these fundamental data foundations in place, you risk spending substantial amounts of money on AI and getting poor outcomes.

How to get started with a Data and AI Transformation

There are many business benefits to be realised by utilising AI and these are not just limited to reducing costs or improving productivity. Looking at AI solutions and targeting those that enhance the end-to-end customer experience is often the quickest route to improved profitability. Success also comes from how you go about implementing any changes or new solutions. Prioritise changes for maximum impact and quick return, and implement them via agile iterations because the technology is constantly innovating and you don’t want to be ‘out of date’ before you’re ready to go to market. The right application of data, technology and processes are essential but also don’t forget the people (and culture) aspect of your business. In our experience with clients, change for people is often much harder than changing your technology.

A solid audit of your organisation will reveal where real improvements can be made. This analysis and insight will give you a clear understanding of what AI-driven benefits should be your top priority and then you can create your strategy and roadmap to reflect that. 

If you need some expert advice or just want more information on a Data & AI transformation, then why not check out our guide which includes our proven transformational blueprint

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