The Future Impact of AI Consulting on Business Operations
Software consulting has, without a doubt, helped considerably in improving the daily operations of many businesses. However, when one considers the revolutionizing effect of artificial intelligence (AI), it is only normal to assume that AI will have an impact on business operations in the very near future. AI consulting in this sense is the use of machine learning algorithms and tools by companies to create AI-powered solutions and products. According to surveys, it is projected that 48% of CIOs will use machine-learning technologies in their companies this year. In this blog, we shall discuss what AI is, its impact on business operations, and the role of AI consultants in benefitting organizations.
What is AI and How Does It Work?
Artificial Intelligence is a branch of computer science that aims to simulate human intellect and behavior. AI finds application in various areas such as natural language processing and machine vision. Often, people refer to only one aspect of AI, such as machine learning, when discussing it. However, to apply machine learning technology, a solid understanding of fundamental hardware and software is necessary.
AI systems excel in processing large amounts of data and analyzing data interactions and trends to make predictions. The primary objective of AI technology is to replicate human intelligence and behavior. This involves teaching computers to respond to specific actions using algorithms and historical data, resulting in the creation of training and propensity models that make predictions. AI implementation has proven to be cost-effective, with 44% of organizations reporting cost savings as a result of its implementation. Preparing for AI implementation involves understanding the concept of AI, analyzing the challenges faced by the company that could be solved using AI, consulting with AI experts to select the best solution, and providing relevant company details.
Languages & Frameworks Used in AI Development
The present-day technologies utilized for developing AI tools include Python and R. Python is a primary technology used for constructing algorithms, developing data pipelines, creating advanced functions, and statistical models. On the other hand, R is extensively used by statisticians and data miners for designing statistical software and conducting data analysis.
PySpark is a database technology employed for data transformation. It enables AI applications to run on billions of data points on distributed clusters, offering a 100-fold acceleration compared to traditional Python applications. TensorFlow is an open-source library used for numerical computation. Its application ranges from classification, perception, understanding, discovery, prediction, and creation. Hadoop is an open-source software framework that stores data and runs applications on commodity hardware clusters. It offers significant storage capacity for various types of data, immense processing power, and the ability to manage numerous concurrent jobs or tasks. PyTorch is an open-source deep-learning framework designed to be modular and flexible for research purposes while providing the stability and support necessary for production deployment.
Integration of AI with Internal Systems
Smart Assistants: Personal smart assistants such as Google Now, Amazon’s Alexa, Samsung’s Bixby, and Apple’s Siri are becoming increasingly important for both individuals and businesses. These assistants execute tasks accurately and can gather information online, thus reducing the workload of employees, especially in small-sized businesses.
Create a Multi-Term Plan: To implement AI in a business, it is important to create a multi-term plan that focuses on verified and tested applications that deliver direct benefits to the bottom line, such as chatbots and marketing tools. The next step is to focus on applications such as data management and decision-making support. Finally, it is important to work with experts who can help take machine learning to a new level based on the specific needs of the business. Before moving from one strategy level to the next, it is important to evaluate what went well and what could be improved, so that successes can be repeated and errors avoided.
Talent and Human Resources: Human resources management is an area where AI automation can significantly benefit businesses. Programs equipped with AI can intelligently break down big data to optimize the search for new talented personnel or manage existing staff. This allows businesses to evaluate the human resources process and improve productivity, employee engagement, and talent retention.
Establishing a Diverse AI Team: Establishing a diverse AI team is also important for a business. It is necessary to include technology and data science experts, as well as individuals from HR, marketing, sales, and operations to establish AI priorities that will benefit key business functions. This multifaceted approach allows the team to evaluate multiple AI applications and choose the best fit for AI integration into existing technologies.
Business Solutions brought by Artificial Intelligence
Digital Security: With the increasing popularity of the internet, cyberattacks have also been increasing at an alarming rate. This poses a significant threat to personal information security. As more transactions take place online, ensuring total security for each deal has become more difficult for businesses. However, AI can help in this regard by providing real-time security checks and user verification.
Customer Support: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being widely used to enhance customer service. Thanks to chatbots, companies can now communicate with their customers 24/7 without requiring human interaction. AI creates an unforgettable customer experience and helps businesses save time and money.
Personalized User Experience: AI is being employed to develop customer loyalty and retention by providing unique online purchasing experiences to internet users. Furthermore, recommendation engines and other AI tools are being used to enhance customer satisfaction and boost revenue.
Data Analytics: Many firms have accumulated a vast amount of customer data. AI solutions assist in processing this large volume of unstructured data to generate actionable insights about patterns and consumer needs.
Benefits of AI Consulting
Simplifying Administrative Tasks: Administrative work can be a tedious job, taking up valuable time that could be better spent on growing a business. According to a report by Sage, small businesses spend an average of 120 days per year on admin tasks. However, companies can streamline these processes with the help of robotic process automation (RPA) tools, which can handle tasks like creating and delivering invoices, record-keeping, and more. By using AI devices, businesses can also make more consistent decisions and avoid non-compliance fines.
Boosting Productivity: Automating administrative tasks can also lead to increased productivity within firms. For example, virtual personal assistants like Zoom.ai can help employees with scheduling and record-keeping. By automating these tasks, junior staff members can focus on more engaging and rewarding work, resulting in higher engagement and productivity levels across the organization. Additionally, tools like If This Then That (ITTT), Google Docs, and MailChimp can automate tasks such as time tracking, document sharing, and email communication.
Reducing Human Effort: AI technology can analyze unstructured data to identify patterns and predict future risks, reducing the need for human labor in handling repetitive tasks. Investing in AI tools can be more cost-effective than hiring a full-time worker, as they can automate labor-intensive processes without compromising quality. Furthermore, AI can enhance decision-making processes by providing stakeholders with real-time insights from multiple sources.
What Does an AI Consultant Do?
1. Identifying the Suitable Opportunities for AI Solutions Before Investing in Them: It's important to identify the right opportunities for AI solutions before investing in them. While AI and machine learning are the latest trends in technology, they may not always be the best fit for your product. Investing a large sum of money into AI-based solutions or procedures without receiving a good return on investment can be risky. According to a report by MIT Sloan Management and a BCG study, up to 40% of businesses investing in major AI projects have seen little or no impact. Seasoned AI experts can suggest the right areas for the implementation of these technologies so as to achieve maximum growth and ROI. By being an impartial voice in the data science process, a consultant can keep you grounded in your approach to AI initiatives. Additionally, if AI or machine learning isn't the appropriate fit, consultants can offer different techniques to accomplish the task. Case studies have shown that basic and less expensive solutions can sometimes provide the desired effects without the need for AI technology. It's better to understand this before investing a significant amount of money in building an AI or machine learning model.
2. Guiding You Through the AI / ML Roadmap: AI consultants can guide you through the AI/ML roadmap, helping you overcome everyday challenges and barriers. They can provide expertise on artificial intelligence bias, which may be unintentionally produced by how data is collected, algorithms are created, and AI data analysis is done. AI consultants can also help you understand which activities are best suited for AI, such as replicating, automating, and expanding present human activities (vs. establishing new ones). They can also assist in risk assessment, evaluating the risks involved in AI deployment, and creating a deployment strategy.
3. Helping You With Your Data Preparation Process: Data analysis and preparation are critical for machine learning modeling and training, which form the foundation for AI. An excellent AI/ML consultant can help you set up your database correctly by combining data sets and normalizing data. They can clean raw data, mine new data, or produce synthetic data with millions of records with high accuracy, which is crucial for mixing historical and real-time data for custom machine learning.
4. Testing Support for Machine Learning Models: Tests and assessments are an important part of the creation of custom machine learning models. These models are designed by ML engineers and data scientists by altering parameters and inputting system data. Insights should be repeatable enough to support the required use case well and be of such a quality that they achieve your goals seamlessly. AI consultants can help you with this, as well as with ML model testing, which can include monitoring, property-based testing, data slicing, directional expectations tests, minimum functionality testing, etc, after the completion of the training.
Do you know about the added benefits of hiring IT Consultants for your business?
Stages of Artificial Intelligence Implementation
1. Discovering client’s needs: When discovering a client's needs, the team focuses on understanding the customers and their requirements. They analyze opportunities for improvement and discuss high-tech solutions that would be the most effective.
2. Feasibility study: During the feasibility study stage, the team closely collaborates with the client's team, accessing crucial data and exchanging information daily. The goal is to ensure that the project is an investment that will quickly pay off and continue to provide additional value in the future.
3. Building a prototype: After reaching an agreement, the team prepares a complex plan, divides tasks, and creates a timetable to build a prototype that resembles the main goal. They analyze the prototype with the client and make necessary adjustments before moving on to the agreed solution.
4. Integration into existing systems and production deployment: When integrating custom-made solutions into existing systems, the team of experts runs multiple tests to ensure everything works smoothly. Their AI consultants are always available to answer any questions.
5. Final results and transformation of client’s organization: The final result is a transformed organization that can take advantage of the latest technological solutions, with advanced algorithms improving their business outcomes.
AI can provide solutions to complex business problems, automate mundane tasks, and help increase productivity, efficiency, and accuracy. With the right AI strategy, companies can gain a competitive edge in the market and achieve their goals more effectively. If used in the proper context, AI can bring immense value to both software companies and their customers. Seasoned AI consultants such as our team members at Vofox Solutions can guide you toward making optimal decisions regarding your organization’s plans for AI/ML ventures. It is essential that AI consultants must be vetted carefully before hiring. Our AI consultants perform due diligence during the planning, integration, and implementation stages to ensure the best results in your business operations.