Artificial intelligence is desirable, exotic and enticing. Businesses across the world can see the benefits of integrating this technology into their infrastructure.

In a recent Accenture survey, 56% of executives indicated that AI deployment will drive new growth and revenue opportunities. Similarly, 53% acknowledged that by leveraging this tech, they would be able to exploit new markets or product opportunities too.

But do you know how many CIOs have actually got around to the implementation stage...?

4% - according to Gartner.

The reality is that we have a commitment problem. We are struggling to get across the fence and onto the next stage of our relationship with this technology, even though we know the benefits it could bring.

So how can we get over this hurdle? How can we move past the current AI limbo which most organisations seem to be well and truly stuck in? From our experience, we’ve found a few simple steps that are going to help you get to the long and lasting relationship you have been so keen to reach.

Communication is key

No stable relationship can be built properly when it lacks communication, all parties involved must be kept in the loop and made to feel like part of the conversation. In this instance, the crux of this is ensuring that you communicate with members of the C-Suite about the value that AI can bring to them and how implementing this technology will make their lives and roles easier.

Buy into the prospect of AI as a whole is an incredibly important factor to consider when looking to optimise the use of AI for businesses, especially when it comes down to the C-Suite, as they are the ones who control the purse strings. They can set the agenda, and ensure projects thrive or dive.

“When communicating with the C-Suite, you must keep in mind their business objectives: this will allow you to identify where AI can give them the most value.”

When communicating with the C-Suite, you must keep in mind their business objectives: this will allow you to identify where AI can give them the most value. For instance, many of the board will be concentrating on the very top level decisions for the business, rather than evaluating opportunities by each small department, the bigger picture needs to be considered: If the deployment moves the entire business forward to better growth, profitability, stability, customer service - or whatever it might be - that’s the language of the C-Suite.

So what value would the C-Suite be able to relate to? Well, 79% of executives believe AI will make jobs easier and more efficient as manual resource-intensive tasks become automated.

This frees workers to hone their higher-order skills and empowers them to explore new areas of value and opportunity within the organisation. The upskilling of current staff to improve efficiency is something that the C-Suite will be able to relate, and something they will likely be keen to buy into.

There’s plenty of fish in the sea

The field of AI shows no signs of slowing, as we see more and more AI solutions sprouting up. Last year’s AI Index report revealed that there has been a 14x increase in the number of active AI startups since 2000, and it is likely that this figure will have ballooned once the new 2018 Index is released. There is no lack of choice when it comes to finding an AI solution that is right for you, so don’t settle with the first one you find!

Every organisation will need their own, unique approach to AI, depending on what the intended end product or result will be. This is where you should start in finding the right solution for you by asking yourself what you want from AI.

“Every organisation will need their own, unique approach to AI, depending on what the intended end product or result will be.”

Is it customer support? Employee activation and engagement? Logistic tracking? Supply chain management?

Every different intention needs a slightly different solution, and careful consideration on timings, technology, cultural change, and how people, from internal to external stakeholders, will react to it. Indeed, good communications will also be key to ensure intentions are not misconstrued!

Furthermore, you must consider what stage your company is at within its digital transformation process, as this is key to choosing the right AI for you.

For instance, does your organisation have the ability to do agile development? Does it already make data-driven decisions?

Answering these questions will help you identify where in the AI spectrum you will sit and how fast you can safely proceed.

Every relationship has key milestones

Once you have managed to take your relationship with AI to the next level, it may seem like the struggle is over, but one thing we must bear in mind is maintaining a healthy relationship with our new shiny AI solution.

Appreciating and understanding milestones in a relationship are just as important as getting there in the first place because you must keep all parties happy.

If you set tangible targets to track your business’s progress through the rollout of AI, this will make it much easier to see where value is being derived and communicate this back to those who are controlling its funding.

Being able to demonstrate real-time improvement will keep everyone happy, and you sailing through the honeymoon period.

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