The goal of this article is to help companies, CEOs, or CTOs understand how ready their organization is to embrace or to start with AI. The article provides a set of criteria for you to assess if your organization is ready for investing in AI to provide your company with solutions for streamlining tasks and for saving resources, time, or costs. Part 1 will look at three elements that each organization should ask themselves when beginning to explore and seek AI solutions. Part 2 is a separate article that addresses The 3 Stages to Assess Your AI Readiness Level.
The 3 Main Elements to Help You Be AI Ready
- First, you need to know, what’s your company’s goal with AI? What are you looking for it to do? What is your organization’s output goal?
- Secondly, you need to ask, what is your company’s growth strategy?
- Thirdly, how will this make your organization competitive in the market? What’s the advantage for your business in using AI in comparison to your competitors? Have your competitors already applied AI to their businesses to solve similar problems?
Some practical, simple ways to get you thinking about the above three questions (and their sub-questions) and how to answer them are:
1. Output Goals. It is important to start with the “why”. What motivates you towards an AI solution? What is the tangible outcome that you would like to get out of this initiative? The output goals identify at the beginning what the problem is that you are facing. This is a problem that needs to be solved with AI, be it automation, issue tracking, cybersecurity, completing complex tasks quickly and efficiently, etc. Output goals identify the value of using AI for your business. They also identify where AI can solve one or more of your business problems.
Here are some of the typical goals that resonate with our clients.
- We want our company to:
- Discover if AI solutions exist for a given problem
- Understand the potential of our data
- Improve the value of an AI end-to-end solution
- Have a product ready solution that can be deployed as soon as possible
- Improve a version of an existing AI solution that is not meeting expectations
2. Growth Strategy. Thinking about how you are currently growing your company allows you to think strategically about AI. In particular, you will want to know how AI contributes to your organization’s growth strategy.
We selected three growth strategies from the Ansoff matrix that in our experience can be supported by AI.
- Assess whether your company is growing by either:
- Bringing new products to an existing market
- Developing new markets with your current products
- Adapting current products to new markets
3. Competitive Advantage. Another important aspect of AI Readiness Level assessment is related to competition and how you plan to get a head start. In particular, you might want to think about how your competitors are using AI, and what you think is your desired strategy.
For your benefit, check out some generic strategies. (LINK URL)
- Identification: We have identified an application where AI can solve one or more of our business problems that our competitors are not using.
- Cost Leadership: We are looking for economies of scale. No frilly offers involving a lot of automated processes that scale.
- Differentiation: We want to develop a unique or desirable product that differentiates our product in a small number of target segments.
When thinking about AI readiness and these three elements–output goals, growth strategy, and competitive advantage–keep in mind your data and your people. These are also additional elements to consider as part of the process.
For instance, data collection, data usage, and data analysis are all very important steps to the overall process and value that AI creates. Collect data that you think could be useful for an AI project. Organize and structure the data. Is it stored in a database? Do you have full control of your data and its source?
What does your team, who will explore, experiment, process, maintain, and complete the project, look like? Who are the people involved? Do you have gaps that need to be filled?
Once these questions, thoughts, and plans have been vetted out, brainstormed, and documented, you are now on your way to moving to the three stages of AI Readiness.
Fill out this Google form to get your AI Readiness Level assessed by Sparkd; this is a free service we offer. One of our AI engineers will contact you with a bespoke assessment of your AI level.
Author: Samantha Sink
Photos taken from Canva