Using AI to reinvent the enterprise
From how businesses communicate with their customers through virtual assistants, to automating key workflows and even managing network security, there is no doubt that AI is a catalyst for accelerating top-line impact, causing disruption and unlocking new market opportunities.
At IBM’s recent Chief Data and Technology Officer Summit, I had an exciting conversation with Mark Foster, Chairman, IBM Consulting, where we talked about how enterprises are using AI to reinvent themselves, their main challenges and how they see investing in AI over the next 24 months.
With the accelerated pace of many organizations’ digital transformation, we have seen the emergence of new platform business models. These models enable enterprises to make better use of data, and achieve their strategic business objectives, through improved service to their clients, more efficient operations, and better experiences for their employees.
Organizations have been digitally transforming in two ways simultaneously: from the inside-out and the outside-in. The ability to apply AI, automation, blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, cloud and quantum computing at scale drives the inside-out cognitive transformation of organizations. And organizations also experience outside-in reinvention, a new way to reach, engage and enable customers to interact with the enterprise, with responsible use of the exploding volumes of data companies now hold.
Now, we are seeing a new third dimension of digital transformation: openness of business platforms across their ecosystem, resulting in a Virtual Enterprise. By stretching intelligent workflows and virtualized processes across broader systems, the return on investment of a Virtual Enterprise compounds from the resulting ecosystems, digital workflows and networked organizations. The Virtual Enterprise is supported by a “golden thread” of value that animates the enterprise and binds ecosystem participants. A key characteristic of the Virtual Enterprise is data-led innovation – the openness of the virtual enterprise accelerates access to new sources of product and service innovation using innovative technologies like AI to do it.
The challenges to successful AI adoption
- Strategic perception – with the advent of the Virtual Enterprise, the complexity of organizations has increased. While some enterprises have a clear vision of what they want to be, many are struggling with that big picture.
- Execution –Delivering transformation at scale remains the main challenge for many enterprises to continue their digital reinvention. How fast and how much can the business model be transformed?
- Skills – Lack of skills inside the organization is one of the top challenges. IBM Garage Methodology has been helping many of our clients navigate skills gaps and solve significant problems using their data, new technologies, and existing ecosystems.
Companies that can overcome adoption and deployment barriers and tap AI and automation tools to tackle these challenges will be able to deliver value from AI.
Investing in AI
Businesses plan to invest in all areas of AI, from skills and workforce development to buying AI tools and embedding those into their business processes, creating agile learning systems that will build applications more efficiently and effectively.
Over the next 24 months, most AI investments will continue to focus on key capabilities that define AI for business — automating IT and processes, building trust in AI outcomes, and understanding the language of business.
In our previous CDO/CTO Summit, “Leadership During Challenging Times,” I shared how enterprises are becoming more intelligently automated, data-driven and predictive; risk-aware and secure. Leaders are designing organizations for agility and speed by infusing AI across the foundational business functions: customer care, business operations, the employee experience, financial operations and, of course, IT operations. I believe these investments will continue to accelerate rapidly as customers look for new, innovative ways to drive their digital transformations by using hybrid cloud and AI.
To hear more from Chief Artificial Intelligence Officers from some of the world’s most prestigious organizations and learn about adopting AI and delivering more business value, watch the replay of the CDO/CTO Summit “Using AI to reinvent the enterprise.” I invite you to register for our CDO/CTO Summit series here. In June, we will discuss “Data Fabric: Delivering on your Data Strategy.”