Does Your Company Need an AI Strategy?

3 minute read

Think of a company it makes products or designs services and then offers them for profit. Now if you take a technology like the internet and insert it into your company something changes…

Lessons from History

Macy’s took a technology called the internet and created a portal. Amazon took the internet and structured their whole business model around it. Both present very different approaches to using the internet for business; there’s nothing wrong with either. However the company strategy determines how the internet was going to be used.

Macy’s already had retail stores, so it made sense to simply offer the internet as another channel to buy stuff. Amazon on the other hand had no retail stores so it made more sense to sell everything through this new Portal.

Amazon saves more money than business that have a store front with employees such as Macy’s

Amazons lack of retail stores meant fewer expenses, this give Amazon an advantage. They did not have to pay retail staff and so were able to offer a wider range of products. They just had to make sure to get shipping capability in order as delivery becomes an integral part of their business. Macy’s on the other hand could be a little lax on this front as they could leverage their existing distribution system to deliver to their stores and have customers pick up the items.

Using AI in your Company:

Now think of AI as a technology, a set of tools in a toolbox.

Now ask yourself this question: if you were to drop AI into your company:

  • Question 1: How many things would change?

  • Question 2: How could your company leverage AI?

Solutions:

  • Solution 1: You could use AI to automate some of your processes, but then you’d have to find something else for the employee who got displaced to do.

  • Solution 2: Alternatively you could use AI to understand what your customers want, then you might end up hiring more people to facilitate the design and creation of new products and services for your customers.

  • Solution 3: You could use AI to enhance the relationship with your customers, following this you might consider hyper-personalizing your customer experiences.

  • Solution 4: You could use AI to stamp out your competitor. Then you might have to beef up your customer onboarding processes and systems to handle all those customers who defect from them to you!

Company Goals

So you might decide to implement all of the above solutions into you business. It’s paramount however to remember that what you do should depends on what your strategy is –and your strategy should really depend on what your goal is. If your goal is to increase profitability then there are many options and ways to go about doing so. For instance you can buy another company or sell more products to existing customers or you find new customers. Alternatively you can also increase the price of your products. So as you can see your strategy is simply the choices that you make however you must be realistic about the choices and expected outcomes. Once you have made your choice then you can use AI to support those choices. If your choice is to sell more products to existing customers then don’t waste your time implementing AI on building a face recognition system that can identify your customer, I mean that would be cool and a pretty nerdy thing to do but it has very little business value in the context of your strategy. Instead focus your efforts on the right capabilities you need to improve an alliance with your strategy and you should be fine.

Hope this helps…