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AI and Your Business

Artificial Intelligence, commonly referred to as AI, has become a focus of technological development in recent years. These programs appear in our daily lives with the ability to ask our assistants, like Siri or Alexa, to do several things for us. The use of AI in business is on the rise as companies embrace the functions of AI to perform other tasks such as data entry and customer service. The introduction of AI into a business can be intimidating to employees concerned about job loss. The importance of leading through the transition is a determining factor on the successful adaptation of AI into the workplace. Stephen Horan, Managing Director of the Americas Region and Professional Learning at the CFA Institute, recently conducted a seminar at the AICPA Engage 2020 Conference on the effects of AI. His presentation outlined the following considerations:  

Surviving in the AI World

In surviving the AI world keeping a few things in mind should help keep perspective in a rapidly changing environment. To begin with, change is coming. And while most leaders believe that business roles will change substantially over the next 5-10 years, they also believe that businesses structured with teams who can connect the in-depth knowledge and wisdom they possess with the new technology will be better situated for success. The combination of AI and Human Learning will be integral to smoother transitions.

Technology will be an expectation of customers. As people become familiar with the ease and convenience of AI in their lives, they will also expect similar ease and convenience in their commercial interactions.

With the growing number of options, trust will be increasingly important in establishing and maintaining business relationships. The ability of AI to dive into data will provide information for better decision making and connecting customers to the best solutions for their needs.

Perhaps most important, AI will NOT replace people. Roles will change and evolve as the more mundane and repetitive data tasks will be automated. New roles will emerge that will require people to utilize data to drive solutions.

Key skills for the future

There are two main sets of skills that have become evident as essential to managing business in an AI driven world. The first is soft skills. These are the people focused skills fundamental to building relationships and include communication and presentation skills. The second are data analysis skills. The ability to collect and interpret data, fully understand the meanings and implications and utilize this information in problem solving and developing solutions.

Training your team to embrace AI

As you and your team move forward into embracing AI into your business, it is important to focus on the training and development of your team so that they are prepared for challenges ahead. A roadmap to addressing these changes include:

  • Cultivating a strong business culture to enhance the employee experience
  • Empowering leadership and communication
  • Being open to, and embracing change
  • Using technology and innovation to enhance your product offering and customer experience

The use of Artificial Intelligence in daily life and business is here to stay. Embracing AI in your business will position you for success today, tomorrow and beyond. The sooner you can create a culture that accepts and encourages the use of AI in your business and within your team the sooner your business will prosper from the benefits AI can offer your business.

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