Karo Kilfeather | 07.06.17
Summary >

It’s not news that artificial intelligence is already improving workplace efficiency and productivity in many ways and its adoption is only growing. Forrester predicted a 300 percent increase in AI investments this year over last, based on the valuable business insights it delivers. A new Accenture report suggests that AI could boost average profitability rates by 38 percent and lead to an economic increase of $14 TN by 2035. While more and more companies across dozens of industries are moving in this direction, it bears taking a look at a few of the top benefits for businesses when they capitalize on the data harnessed by the technology.

Customer loyalty and retention

Innovative technologies like AI have a direct impact on customer loyalty and retention. AI-based technology—think chatbots and speech-recognition platforms—are designed to contribute to providing exceptional customer experience, today’s baseline value prop, no matter the industry. Specifically, the “self-service economy” is taking shape due to the fact that 70 percent of consumers expect a self-service option for handling commercial questions and complaints.

Aside from the consumer-level value technology enables, it also acts as a data aggregator for the business, collecting various customer-specific insights that are leveraged to design more personalized experiences for customer, further ensuring happy customers.

Talent management

Artificial intelligence drives business value in so many areas, but one often overlooked area is human resources. For one, data that is harnessed through AI-based technology gives businesses the ability to predict when a customer may leave for another competitor (Sprint actually did this via predictive analytics to help improve retention), helping reduce customer churn rates. In addition, AI-based technology can quickly sort through thousands of job applications in a fraction of the time it would take a person, narrowing down a giant pool of applicants to a few dozen. While AI alone can’t determine the best person for the job, it does extend the career recruiter’s bandwidth who would otherwise be bogged down with tedious and time-consuming tasks and enable them to focus on getting the right people in the door and in jobs that are beneficial for both parties.

Competitive advantage

A recent Infosys survey of 1,600 business and IT executives found that AI is a long-term priority for innovation, with 76 percent of respondents agreeing AI is “fundamental to the success of their organization’s strategy.” Sixty-four percent stated the future growth of their business depends on AI adoption. These beliefs can be tied directly back to increasing competitive advantage but the secret is in how companies use AI to reap the rewards. Earlier this year, Ford motors announced a plan to invest $1 billion over the next five years in Argo AI, an artificial intelligence startup that is focused on developing autonomous vehicle technology. Bosch is placing AI at the forefront of their business as well. The company’s “thinking factory,” currently rolled out in one of Bosch’s German automotive plants, enables AI-powered machines to self-diagnose technical failures, automatically trigger the ordering of replacement parts and anticipate maintenance needs. Bosch predicts more than $2 billion of added revenues and savings from the widespread use of intelligent systems and machines by 2020. Bottom line: AI technology fuels decision management, enables enterprises to efficiently make intelligent conclusions based on automation. The savings refers not just to money, but to the time and energy savings not inconsequential within today’s corporate landscape.

But we’re not there yet. Ninety percent of businesses say their organizations’ continue to face challenges or employee concerns such as fear of change, cultural acceptance and a lack of in-house skills to manage AI—impeding the implementation of artificial intelligence. Only ten percent of those surveyed whose company have adopted AI technologies think that their organization is fully maximizing its capabilities.

Looking ahead, what can be done to fully harness data through the power of AI? Adapting the current workforce to these inevitable changes is important as we move to a more hybrid model (humans + AI). Business leaders have a responsibility to explain the risks and opportunities that the next-gen workforce brings.They can even introduce AI-driven workplace technologies that can detect emotional stress and worker burnout through natural language processing, allowing businesses to use AI for HR value too. After all, it’s the perfect mix that contributes to the bottom line, including our most valuable asset—valued employees.

For more on artificial intelligence and field service, subscribe to the ClickSoftware Blog.