by Kushagra Shrivastava
Did you know 37 percent of organizations have implemented Artificial Intelligence (AI) in some form — representing a 270 percent increase over the past four years? How about the prediction that by 2021, 80 percent of emerging technologies will have AI foundations? At the very least, we see businesses running experiments to understand how AI based-tools can add value to them.
The implementation of AI products and services is increasing at an exponential rate and, with it, so are the opportunities available for organizations looking to leverage AI’s capabilities. In order to position your business ahead of the digital transformation curve, it’s important to understand not only the potential of AI, but also what the landscape will look like in the year ahead. More importantly, understand how it can directly benefit your business and associated ROI.
Whether your business has embraced AI or is still considering how it can fit into a business plan, it’s important to be aware of the many different ways it will impact business in the coming year — and how you should be prepared. Here are four ways I believe AI will impact businesses in 2020 and some positive benefits AI can bring to your company:
Leveraging Predictive Algorithms Using AI Will Make Media Buying More Efficient & Effective
With deeper AI integration, emerging technology and marketing automation will go beyond advising businesses on ‘what’ they should do, and will recommend the ‘why’ as well. Consider this example: Today, a retailer or other business owner might simply get a recommendation that they should start advertising more online to find new customers. In 2020, that recommendation could evolve to include details on where, when and how they should advertise, as well as predicting how many new customers they should expect to earn and how much revenue those customers are likely to bring.
By recommending channels to most effectively reach audiences, engage new customers and drive purchasing decisions, AI will enable business owners and decision-makers to make smarter decisions. These decisions will span demographics, shopping habits, and all the factors that go into driving sales and increasing a customer base. This move from correlation to causality will help drive greater efficiencies and ROI.
Smarter Mobile Interfaces Will Enhance User Experience
This strategic shift will also drive new advertising tactics, specifically focused on the power of mobile. Mobile AI interfaces will evolve and reach the always-on consumer whenever, and wherever they are. Virtual assistants and bots are already becoming increasingly important, engaging many audiences the way they want to engage with businesses. These improvements to mobile interfaces will work to enhance the customer experience and in turn drive more traffic to your retail site — boosting your bottom line. It will save support costs, surface the right information to the right customer at the right time, and make the overall experience more delightful and simpler.
Robotics Process Optimizations (RPO) Tools Will Come Alive Complemented by Simple, Unified Dashboards
Robotics Process Optimizations may be an unfamiliar term to some, but at its core RPO describes a software-based technology that enables robots to emulate human execution of a business process. By doing so, the robot performs the same tasks on a computer — with the same interface — as a human worker would, and even clicks, types and opens applications the same way.
While this may sound like something out of a Sci-Fi film, it could be particularly impactful in the retail industry, as the emergence of single sign-on, single invoice, unified dashboards, and mobile-first solutions will work in tandem with the tools and services businesses need to run operations from a single platform. By consolidating essential services, the software will help to simplify the development and day-to-day management of the entire company — making running a business easier than ever on the back-end.
AI Will Help Navigate the Increasingly Complex Macro-Economic Climate
AI integration will give business owners and entrepreneurs the edge they need to become — and remain — competitive. Managing and growing a business can be difficult with the constantly shifting business climate, including selling against the trade war and the new tariff backdrop. However, with deeper AI integration in business development, management, and sales strategies, business owners can take their organization to the next level — transcending issues that threaten to hold them back and overcoming difficulties in today’s complex business landscape.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Artificial intelligence is becoming more widely used every day, and that will only increase moving forward. IDC predicts that by 2025, 75 percent of organizations will be investing in employee retraining in order to fill skill gaps caused by the need to adopt AI. The move toward AI will become even more prevalent this year as businesses look to position themselves ahead of the curve. If you don’t have AI-based tools rolled out within your business plan, it’s not too late.
The 2020s is the decade forecast to be the peak of innovation brought on by AI. There’s no better time than now to take your business to the next level.
Kushagra Shrivastava is Managing Director of Yahoo Small Business at Verizon. He is responsible for YSB product and business functions and above-the-network applications at Verizon.