The pace of change in the business world is accelerating. Disruptive technologies are upending entire industries, and business models that have been successful for years are becoming obsolete almost overnight.
One of the most disruptive forces in business today is artificial intelligence (AI).
AI is a technology that enables computers to perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence, such as understanding natural language and recognizing patterns.
AI is already starting to have a major impact on the way businesses operate. It is being used to automate repetitive tasks, make decisions, and provide recommendations. In fact you probably interact with half a dozen AIs every day without realizing.
In the future, AI will become even more ubiquitous and powerful. Businesses able to adapt and embrace it will be the ones that continue to succeed.
Three ways AI will impact businesses in the future
1. Change the way businesses are structured
In the past, businesses have been organized around hierarchical models, with clear lines of authority and decision-making. However, AI-powered businesses will be flatter, more agile, and more decentralized.
More decisions will be made by algorithms, not by individuals. This will enable businesses to respond more quickly to changes in the market and make better decisions.
AI will streamline business activities by helping staff complete them. Rather than training every new staff member, owners will be able to train an AI and have it train and guide new staff with limited oversight.
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2. Change the way businesses compete
AI will further level the playing field for businesses. Small businesses will be able to compete with large businesses, and businesses in developing countries will be able to compete with businesses in developed countries more readily.
This is because AI will enable businesses to be more nimble, adaptable and scalable. Once an AI has been taught to accurately perform an activity it will repeat it quickly and without error at a speed human staff can’t match. It will even learn and adapt to unforeseen changes.
AI will also change the nature of competition. In the past, businesses competed on price, quality, and features. In the future, businesses will also compete on data. The businesses with the best data will win. This puts a premium on data collection and data analysis, and businesses best able to do so will have a major advantage.
3. Change the way businesses are regulated
Currently, businesses are regulated on the basis of their activities. In the future, AI may be embedded in the systems you use to track activities and report issues in near real time, increasing scrutiny while reducing compliance costs.
It’s also likely businesses will be regulated based on their data. They will need to be increasingly transparent and accountable, taking privacy and security even more seriously.
What can you do to ride the AI wave?
If you want to stay ahead of the curve, it’s important to educate yourself about AI. Read books and articles, listen to podcasts, and attend conferences and events.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with AI. There are a number of ways you can begin using AI in your business, from chatbots for customer service to predictive analytics to improve sales forecasts and marketing. Try different things and see what works for you.
Partner with an AI company
If you’re not ready to experiment, partner with a company already working with AI.
There are also companies offering AI-powered products and services that might suit your business. Find one you can partner with to help you start with AI.
By Craig Thomler
ABOUT CRAIG THOMLER:
Craig is the COO and Co-Founder of reKnow Pty Ltd: reKnow.io
Craig has worked in digital since 1995, cofounding some of Australia’s first successful internet-based businesses.
Joining the Australian Public Service in 2006, he led national digital initiatives before stepped out in 2012 to consult to businesses and agencies on digital marketing and engagement.
In 2017 he took a senior role at Accenture leading large digital transformation projects before returning to the startup world in late 2020.
After cofounding reKnow as one of Australia’s first full-service AI companies, he now develops and implements leading AI solutions for Australian businesses.
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