Think of a company as a living organism that naturally adapts to its surroundings. Its products and services will grow, shrink, defend, and self-heal as needed. This is the future of the AI-based company. We live in an unprecedented time. Technological innovations are changing existing business models in the industry, partially replacing existing industries and changing the way we live and interact with one another continuously and fundamentally.
About the author
Geng Lin is the Executive VP and Chief Technology Officer at F5.
Compared to the industrial revolution and the internet revolution, the AI âârevolution is advancing even faster. In the decades to come, AI will profoundly affect every aspect of our daily lives, from home to work to our society.
In his seminal book The Society of Mind, Marvin Minsky, the father of AI, proposed a theory that describes how a âsocietyâ can form an intelligent mind from tiny components that are themselves mindless. This is a profound insight.
This theory has largely been shown to be true, despite the fact that the techniques used to connect this huge number of small parts had to be discovered and gone through many generations of trial and error before neural networks, machine learning, deep learning and massive data processing and computing made the right combination.
Examples of AI can be found in every industry today:
- The financial industry uses AI via chatbots to improve the customer experience while reducing costs.
- Telecommunications providers rely on AI-based security to protect customers and their own networks.
- Healthcare integrates Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR) with AI to become more proactive than reactive, improve overall health, and potentially save lives.
- The transportation industry uses AI to analyze location and congestion in order to optimize routes, reduce costs and save customers time.
If we keep Minsky’s theory in mind, when we look at the path of digital transformation of corporate business, we find that it is following the same path to become more and more intelligent. From task automation to digital expansion to AI-powered business, every company is on a path that intersects with AI.
By and large, we see three main areas for short to medium-term AI opportunities in the company.
The first is customer loyalty, with an emphasis on improving the customer experience, delivering personalized products and services, and automating day-to-day customer service tasks like call center support. According to a recent survey of 200 marketing executives conducted by Forbes Insights and Arm Treasure Data, 40% of executives said their customer personalization efforts had a direct impact on maximizing sales, cart size, and profits in direct customer channels such as e-commerce. Another 37% said that they experienced higher sales and higher customer lifetime value from product or content recommendations. More than a third of the respondents saw an increase in the frequency of transactions due to personalization strategies. A US bank recently reported that it handles over 1 million calls a month via chatbots. That helps them save tens of millions of dollars a year. It is estimated that chatbots will be responsible for over $ 8 billion in annual cost savings in banking alone by 2022.
Overall, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of both the existing and potential benefits AI can bring to their online experience.
The next opportunity is cybersecurity. As the volume and complexity of cyberattacks has increased tremendously, efforts to detect and contain cyber threats have exceeded human scope. Combining AI with cybersecurity gives security professionals additional resources to defend against cyber attackers. Opportunities with AI in cybersecurity include the following areas:
- Automation of everyday security tasks such as vulnerability management, virus protection, identity management and email hygiene. Google improved email hygiene by using AI to block an additional 100 million spam messages per day.
- Perform behavioral analysis of large amounts of signals to identify and block seemingly legitimate transactions generated by bots.
Attack vs. defense strategies and cybersecurity innovations are a never-ending game. As security professionals increasingly use AI to combat automated attacks, criminals are catching up with AI and will use it for more sophisticated attacks.
The third area is the business operations of companies. This applies to the areas of IT operations, employee operations, sales operations and financial operations, among others. In this area, the automation of business processes is the main goal in order to avoid human interactions. AIOps and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are the most important sub-areas.
The main opportunities for AI in business operations are:
- IT operations. With the digital transformation, every company is now becoming a data company and an application company. Therefore, managing the portfolio of IT assets is an important task that requires automation and AI technologies.
- Robotic process automation. This is for general process automation. Low-code environment, process bot and OCR-based document processing are some of the immediate effects. Deloitte’s Global Robotic Process Automation (RPA) reported that RPA continues to meet and exceed expectations in several dimensions including improved compliance (92%), improved quality / accuracy (90%), improved productivity (86%), cost reduction (59 %). . It also found that payback was reported in less than 12 months when an average of 20% of full-time equivalent capacity (FTE) was provided by robots.
While AI has great potential for businesses, there are some bumps along the way. In addition to the relative technical difficulties of implementing and scaling AI, companies face business and cultural challenges:
- To identify the right business use cases.
- To provide strong data governance.
- To recruit AI talent and develop skills.
- Follow AI ethics and do the right thing.
- Finally, to understand the social impact of AI on the business.
To be successful, AI efforts must go well beyond any single company and require industry collaboration.
Despite these challenges, we believe that AI will fundamentally change the corporate landscape in all industries and sectors.
Future AI will be the new power for businesses, driving a new era of innovation and creating opportunities for every industry. We must carefully weigh such possibilities and remember that in the world of technology, machines and algorithms, AI should ultimately improve our humanity.