To keep pace with the competition, you need to get the ball rolling on integrating AI into your organization’s operations. But where do you start? BPM Partners Fred Rica and Bryan Rhody walk through four key steps to launch and propel your AI journey.
As the influence of artificial intelligence continues to extend its reach, it’s no longer a surprise that AI has become a prevalent topic from casual conversations at the dining table to high-stakes boardroom discussions. From streamlining grocery deliveries to enhancing the efficiency of supply chain management, AI is a force that is reshaping the very essence of our daily lives and how we conduct business.
How to start your AI journey in four steps
If you’re not currently in the process of considering how AI can add value to your operations, then you are behind your competition. But where do you start your AI journey? If you’re asking yourself this question, you’re not alone. This is one of the top sentiments we’re hearing from our networks.
To help you think about how to frame your AI journey from the beginning, we offer four industry-agnostic steps to kick off, expand and operationalize this technology:
Step one: Identify your current use of AI
The pace of AI use has noticeably picked up. In all likelihood, your employees are already using it in their lives — and in their work. The first step on your journey is determining where your people are already using AI within your organization. This will help you limit risks and identify areas that are ripe for AI integration.
Step two: Define AI use cases to test and validate
The next step in your AI journey is to pinpoint use cases where you can start leveraging AI in the flow of your organization’s daily operations. Ideally, you would start small — identifying one or two areas where AI can make a sizable impact, minimize risks or solve challenges. You can narrow this scenario down by asking critical questions like:
- What is the most significant pain point in our operations right now?
- What are we doing really well, and what’s holding us back from doing more of it?
AI is likely part of the solution.
Step three: Focus on high-impact, quick wins
Once you’ve identified at least one solid use case, it’s time to implement AI technology into your current operational process. This involves selecting the technology best suited for the task since the AI landscape is quickly evolving. From there, you’ll also need to assess any potential risks this technology may introduce — and guardrails to keep these risks in check. Finally, you can shift to training your employees on the tool and then starting your use case pilot. During this time, it’s important to measure the impact that AI has on your operations along the way.
Step four: Scale
After a successful use case, the final step on the AI journey is to assess and quantify the impact on your processes. You’ll need to outline the value gained from the project and target additional use cases to integrate AI into your operations further. This is the moment when you start to build momentum and scale across the organization and where the full potential of AI can be realized.
Three core principles for a successful AI journey
From streamlining your operations to enhancing customer experiences, AI’s transformative potential is undeniable. To ensure success throughout the AI journey, it is crucial to adhere to three core principles:
- AI is not new, and it is here to stay. While artificial intelligence is currently dominating conversations, it’s important to recognize that AI is not a recent phenomenon. In fact, it has been around for more than two decades. However, recent advancements, especially in generative AI, have created a fundamental shift and opened new operational possibilities for companies. These advancements are reshaping the future of commerce and making it imperative for businesses to pinpoint where and how to leverage AI effectively.
- AI is a positive force. AI is a force for positive disruption and transformation, impacting various professions and industries. This disruption should be seen as a net positive, creating opportunities to enhance value and enable workers to shift their focus to developing future innovations. AI can also optimize learning and training, providing more effective programs tailored to individual needs and fostering improved performance outcomes.
- Prioritize security and control. While implementing an effective AI strategy promises great potential, it also increases the likelihood of risks and challenges. To mitigate these risks, you must prioritize the establishment of security measures and controls throughout their AI implementation. It is critical to consider how you will protect, monitor and govern AI systems, defining clear guardrails to guide your company throughout the AI journey.
How BPM can help you navigate AI challenges and opportunities
There’s pressure on businesses across industries to implement AI as fast as possible. Determining the right place to start can be one of the most challenging decisions on that journey. And while there’s opportunity to be had, there are also risks worth considering. Failure to address AI risks can lead to regulatory, reputational or legal challenges down the road — not to mention failing to produce the expected value for the business.
Our seasoned professionals across Advisory, Technology, Cyber Risk and more are leading the charge to bring artificial intelligence and process automation to middle market companies. Contact us to get started on your AI journey today.