4 reasons companies are NOT adopting AI (and how to resolve them)

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Adam Muspratt

AI is one of the foremost technologies in the consumer space. Google, Amazon, IBM, Facebook, Spotify, KFC, and many more. They’re using AI to great effect. Many businesses, however, are still failing to see the benefits this technology can have behind the scenes.  


From intelligent automation to chatbots, AI has the potential to completely transform the processes of a business with a range of solutions for customer services, human resources, decision-making, administration and more.


Yet, the IFAFS 2018 Benchmark Report showed that 34% of the surveyed companies had yet to implement an AI-based solution. Meanwhile, only 16% of companies that had implemented AI were looking to expand its usage to other processes.


Source: IAFS


So why is adoption rate lacking? Like most game-changing technologies, AI has some hurdles that you’ll need to overcome.


SEE ALSO: 5 companies transforming their customer experience with AI



Here are 5 obstacles to AI adoption and how they can be avoided.


Obstacle 1: Investment

Every business has a budget and a return on investment (ROI) to worry about. After all, the implementation of artificial Intelligence will eat up a sizeable amount of your company’s resources and time: is it worth it?

AI won’t change a business overnight. It becomes intelligent after learning and processing large volumes of data. Consequently, this means that businesses need to have the infrastructure in place to facilitate and coherently store large volumes of company-specific data.

Legacy Technology and IT modernisation

Often regarded as one of the biggest obstacles to AI adoption, a business without a modern networking infrastructure will have difficulty supporting AI technology. Legacy technology has trouble supporting AI because of the sheer amount of data that AI needs to process.


AI compatible infrastructure will need to be agile, flexible, and scalable and have enough processing power to accommodate huge volumes of data. One solution that larger businesses are turning towards is cloud-based services. This strategy negates the huge costs of bringing in new servers and powerful processors.


Start small and scale up

It may be a good idea to start small with your investments and expand over time. Native AI products are exceedingly rare (albeit more exciting).


You can start your AI journey by automating administrative back-office tasks. After your initial successes, scale up and think about utilising AI in other areas of your business strategy.


Avoid Unnecessary AI tools

Have a clear goal of what your goal with AI is. Many businesses make the mistake of jumping on the AI bandwagon because they see the amount of coverage it is getting and thinking, “we should do that too.”


If you’re adopting AI, make sure it’s to solve a specific problem. Don’t find a way to use AI. Use AI to solve a problem. Do you want to optimize response times or save employee hours? Determine what your goal is and build a strategy around it.

Obstacle 2: Culture


As the saying goes, “out with the old and in with the new.” AI is changing the way we live and has made an impact on virtually every industry. Businesses need to adapt to the change and recognize that enhancing human ingenuity can be achieved, not impeded, through artificial intelligence.


“AI will destroy jobs,”is the battle-cry of latter-day luddites – though the reality is far more complex than that. AI will evolve the job market and provide more opportunities for employees to focus on the complex aspects of their job that requires a human touch. AI will handle the repetitive and routine process that often eats up portions of the working day.

This requires a conversation on a cultural and leadership level. A culture that promotes experimentation and the strategies of smaller businesses will result in a more dynamic and scalable environment that leverages data from all of their process silos.


Obstacle 3: Talent


AI technology is remarkably complex. As you would expect, people with the right mindset need to be brought into an organisation to help facilitate changes and capitalise on opportunities.


SEE ALSO: RPA and Cognitive Automation: only for big business?

Data scientists can be the bridge between all of your departments and the AI. They will let your business know what problems can be solved by using AI.

Data is pivotal to a business. This is one of the biggest differences between leaders of AI as their understanding of the importance of data and algorithms helps them make better use of the tools at their disposal.

Think about it. You have your AI systems in place, but, what do you do with the data? An issue for some companies is that they end up underutilizing its potential.


You’d be hard-pressed to find value from an AI until it has the data to learn from.


Obstacle 4: Governance


The final obstacle towards change is the leadership. It is essential that they recognise artificial intelligence as a vehicle for positive change.


Many business leaders are unsure how AI fits into their business model. Implementing AI can seem like a monolithic prospect, and one that many companies may be unable – or unwilling – to begin tackling.

In this study by The Boston Consulting Group, it was found that 85% of executives believe AI will greatly change the face of business, yet, only one in five businesses had taken the plunge and adopted AI.


This is surprising considering the benefits that artificial intelligence can bring to the table. In most cases, AI can help streamline a company’s IT operations and business processes, freeing up your staff to focus on the things that matter most to your business.


Good governance extends to understanding how AI can fit into your business model.



It is about recognizing the complexity of the process and managing expectations.

Whether if it’s through bots and conversational agents, businesses processes or intelligence based applications, artificial intelligence can be hugely beneficial.




3 tangible ways AI can help with your business

Process automation

As revealed by the IFAFS 2018 Benchmark Report, one of the most frequent uses for AI is business process management. It can significantly streamline your behind the scenes processes. This type of technology can make short work of data-driven, repetitive tasks that are the bane of office administrators.


  Source: IAFS


Cognitive Engagement


Reaching out to your audience is made easier with cognitive engagement.


Cognitive engagement is technology that communicates with customers directly. They can provide a personal experience, collect information, and solve issues for customers at any hour of the day.

This form of artificial intelligence often comes in the shape of chatbots, personalised recommendation system and FAQ’s. The obvious benefit of cognitive engagement technology is 24/7 customer service, but it also achieves this with natural language, meaning that customers won’t have to adapt to a robot.


Cognitive insights


All businesses need an up to date and precise understanding of their audience. This task is made easier with cognitive insights.


Cognitive insights work by analysing data to discover insights and trends, regardless of the data format. Picture it: the ability to analyse all of your data without spending hours collecting, formatting, and fine combing it looking for insights. With cognitive insights technology, you’ll have the predictive power to make informed decisions and the ability to jump on trends before they happen.


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