Life as we knew it underwent drastic changes with the advent of technology. Within this broad spectrum of technology lies the systems/machines that possess the capacity to mimic the intelligence held by humans to perform activities and functions, coined as Artificial Intelligence or AI. AI has infiltrated and impacted all aspects of life, from lifestyle enhancements to commercial benefits.
Companies all across the world have now resorted to incorporating AI with at least one of their functions, if not more to significantly increase efficiency and assist human contributions. These companies employ the use of AI for a multitude of reasons such as data collection and analysis, employee creativity, customer communication, workplace safety including plant safety and employee safety, 24*7 monitoring, and the like.
The State of AI in 2021 by Mckinsey reveals that 56% of the study’s respondents have adopted AI in at least one function. The percentage for the same stood at 50% last year, highlighting the steady increase in companies realizing the potential of AI.
This article will deep-dive into 6 reasons why AI is rapidly emerging as a viable investment for companies and how it opens up new avenues and opportunities.
1. Return on Investment
ROI refers to the financial equation between the costs of an investment and the subsequent loss or gain incurred. In the field of AI, ROI can be measured in terms of time-saving and cost-saving, wherein the intervention of AI will reduce the time taken to complete certain tasks; increase in revenue due to the willingness of customers/clients to try newer and better services/products aided by AI and personalized customer experience leading to longer retention of customers/clients among others.
The misconception about the ineffectiveness of AI in generating returns stems from the fact that it takes a relatively long time to bear profit. Econsult Solutions has revealed in its benchmark study that ‘AI beginners and early implementers essentially show flat results. It is not until they scale AI more widely across their enterprises that the ROI rises to 1.5% on average for firms that are advancing in AI to 4.3% for leaders.’ Therefore, companies are now more forthcoming in integrating AI into their workflow in order to avail the profit it brings along with the right deployment of talent and proper allocation of resources.
Industry giants such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Apple are leading precursors in attaining the services of AI technology.
2. Workplace and Employee Safety
In 2020, it was reported that 2.7 million people were victims of non-fatal workplace injuries. In the same year, the U.S. witnessed the death of one employee every 111 minutes due to a work-related injury.
AI-enabled solutions in workplaces have the potential to assess risks, monitor the actions of employees, track the movement of dangerous vehicles, surveil a hazardous site, conduct inspections, and the like.
AI uses data captured via various technologies such as drones, CCTV, sensors etc. to predict potential danger, warn employees and reduce the rate of accidents. Forklifts are deemed as one of the major causes of workplace fatalities. AI can assist safety managers in properly assessing the condition of such machines and track employees in the vicinity of the forklift to avert possible lethal incidents.
Companies with a field force also have the duty to safeguard their employees while they are on the road. Driving safety solutions have proven worthy of analyzing the at-risk behavior of the drivers and consequently, curb road traffic accidents.
AI is also widely used in loading docks to trigger alerts in the case of nearby pedestrians or to chock wheels to prevent movement. Companies are, therefore, customizing AI technologies to suit their working conditions in order to create a safer working environment for their employees and achieve results in terms of increased employee retention, and decreased employee downtime.
3. Decreased Manual Intervention
Tasks such as data entry, generic interaction with customers, etc. are a few repetitive actions that needed to be carried out by employees. Such occurrences usually lead to lost man-hours and often unproductive use of the human resource available. As such, assimilating AI solutions to take over such tedious tasks resulted in better productivity. For example, with the initiation of an AI-powered data entry system, companies were able to automate every channel of communication that had hitherto required manual interventions. 24*7 online customer service operated by AI in lieu of employees also deploys better customer interactions and garners a good user experience.
Constant queries and issues are effectively dealt with using AI customer support software. AI software also caters to companies aiming for efficient, hassle-free, secure, and faster management of documents. Such AI involvement will decrease the level of manual intervention required at various stages of a company, thereby, lessening the workload of employees, allowing them to streamline their efforts and productivity and invest their time in tasks that require their expertise.
4. Data Analysis
Gartner predicts that by the end of 2024 “75% of enterprises will operationalize AI, driving a 5x increase in streaming data and analytics infrastructures”.
AI-enabled software and solutions have opened up newer, better, and more efficient methods of collecting and analyzing data for the benefit of the company. This digital world is highly data-driven, relying on it to execute an array of functions such as digital marketing, business leads, audience analysis, and much more.
Companies have invested in AI data analysis software since it delivers and yields relevant data at a faster speed, with minimal chances of human error and with no human intervention.
Advanced algorithms are used to collect the required data and then deduce such raw data into valuable insights for the progress of the company. For example, such AI can essentially give you inputs regarding your customers’ preferences, demographics, and opinions to help you tailor a marketing plan appropriate for your customer along with information on which channels would be a better suit to your agenda.
Different organizations have also used the combination of AI and data analysis to infer financial statistics for analyzing the condition of the concerned company, to invest in other viable sources, and to take corrective actions, as and when required.
5. Research and Development
Research and Development is an integral and indispensable element of many leading companies. R&D is pertinent for the growth of a product and the company, at large. Subsequently, when AI-driven technology was introduced, companies sought it fit to invest in it, in order to expand the framework for research and accelerate development.
Utilizing AI, R&D activities have skyrocketed in companies, assisting them in the process of modification of current products and in the innovation of novel ones. Intelligent applications guide employees towards faster and virtually error-free research to increase the profit margin of the company and contribute to the welfare of society.
In the pharmaceutical industry, research and development using AI have demonstrated good results in several areas such as chemical research, medical healthcare, and the discovery of new elements/drugs.
Automated labs, knowledge graphs, and machine-designed hypothesis experiments have contributed to the fast-paced outcomes of R&D. Human talent supplemented by the intelligence of this problem-solving technology can transform your R&D department and take it to new heights.
Apart from the cleanly clubbed reasons mentioned above, there exists a few other reasons that can be attributed to why companies are readily investing in AI technology. Security breaches to unlawfully gain access to important data and information of a company is a threat companies face at regular intervals.
Cyber Security which is enhanced by AI ensures that the company can hold its ground against such attacks and retain its confidential information. It carefully curates threat intelligence, drawing from the various research papers available online, helps the company stay ahead of threats, gains risk exposure information in real-time, mitigates fraudulent activities, and on the off chance of a successful attack, has a quicker and better response time and strategy.
AI applications have also lent a hand to companies in systematically delegating tasks to their employees and producing a seamless workflow that doesn’t require external interventions.
Companies have also enlisted the help of AI in the recruitment process. Intelligent solutions scan through the resumes of the applicants to filter the ones most suited for the job and forward the information to the concerned authorities, who can spend more time on the interview process.
AI and Marketing Campaigns are a triumphant, albeit an offbeat, combination. Companies have flourished under marketing campaigns drafted and executed by AI technology. This intelligent technology has also made remarkable strides in achieving employee satisfaction and in driving their creativity.
All in all, AI is the future of the world, and companies that have calculated its inherent potential have made investments to transform every aspect of their business by incorporating AI. Investing in AI is worth the salt due to its impeccable track record of efficiency and productivity. This assimilation of AI is a part of the current and future business trends and puts your company on the fast track to success provided you have the right resources, time, and patience.
The scope of AI is, however, dynamic and not limited to the aforementioned benefits. It is ever-evolving, welcoming new changes that bring about positive ramifications for your business.