BLOG How to prepare for AI Technology

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Dion Williams

IBM[1] recently conducted a survey of 5,000 C-level executives and top functional leaders about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cognitive computing. Their survey concluded that 82% of enterprises are considering AI adoption.

‍The results of this survey are not surprising. We’ve known for a long time that the migration to automated systems that improve efficiency gains is desirable for large companies with a big workforce.

But while this 2018 survey proves it’s happening, for many Chief Information Officers (CIOs), it doesn’t address what they need to do next to start implementing solutions to automate workflow and ease pressure on their hardworking IT teams.

At Servicely, we’re in regular conversation with CIOs and they commonly have two questions that need attention before diving into AI with confidence.

● Is their company’s data ready for AI? and

● What in house skills do they need in their company to introduce and manage it?

Here’s what CIOs need to do to introduce AI technology and automation within their organisation.

Is your company’s data ready for AI?

If you type “is my data ready for AI” into a Google search you’ll be swamped with information telling you, you’re probably not ready to adopt AI technology within your company.

Chances are this is correct, but will you ever be ready? It’s doubtful.

Being data ready is a mammoth task. You’ll have to audit and review all data company-wide and that means every department and every form (online and manual). Then you’ll need to make judgements on the accuracy of your data (how many misspelt names do you have in your systems?) and clean out what you don’t need.

After all of that, the task only really begins as you reintroduce the information you’ve found into a central database and hope all staff use it and keep it updated.

It could take months if not years to do this and while your competitors are introducing AI technology to increase productivity, you’re fixated on preparing your data for the first stage of AI.

The speed in which AI technology and automation is moving means a company will never be fully up-to-date with what they need to do. But that shouldn’t mean you hold back, AI technology and automation can actually help with the assessment, audit and clean up of data and can reduce the need to double handle data.

Ultimately, Servicely is a way to reduce the manual tasks IT service desk staff have to complete by enabling employees to reset passwords, gain access to online forms and reconnect VPN’s by themselves.

These three common problems can result in a backlog of work IT staff need to wade-through. As mentioned in a previous blog, calls from employees to IT service desks average out to approximately $25 per call and that up to 10,000 calls per month are made to the IT service desk.

It makes sense CIOs should want to reduce the workload of their IT service desk staff. The quicker you implement AI technology within your organisation, the faster efficiency-gains will be experienced.

Do you need special AI skills in-house?

When AI was first developed and brought to market, it was very complex and required staff members to have the intelligence of Einstein to simply turn it on (let alone use it effectively).

To implement AI in the past, companies would need employees with advanced mathematical and analytical skills. This would encompass knowledge on probabilities, statistics, programming languages and algorithm expertise.

While these skills are becoming easier to find there is still a shortage of qualified personnel. It was reported in Forbes  that there are only 300,000 AI professionals worldwide and millions of jobs that need to be filled.

That means if you have an adequately skilled AI staff member, it’s in your best interest to keep them. But if they do choose to move on, chances are their skillset goes with them. It would probably leave your company in a dire situation – needing to find and bring onboard someone with similar traits as a matter of urgency while knowing that these people are difficult to find.

Fortunately, AI technology has continued to mature and, at least with Servicely, there’s no great requirement to up skill staff members and identify a scientist with a PhD in computers to work with your organisation.

This is because algorithms do most of the work now and much of the data needed by CIOs has been built into AI technology. That means companies don’t have to build detailed pipelines for product data as most of it will already exist and as AI continues to operate throughout your organisation it will observe, learn and augment repetitive tasks itself.

It’s a myth that companies must have their data in complete and absolute control to be ready for AI. It’s never going to happen as the busyness of IT service desk staff dictates some calls will be captured with detailed information into an online system but at other times IT staff might just take a note on a piece of paper while trying to juggle five things at once.

That’s why it’s better to introduce AI technology sooner rather than later. AI technology can increase IT service desk efficiency and automation enable staff members to be more proactive in solving their problems without the need to inundate IT departments with calls.

Not sure how AI technology can observe, learn and augment your IT service desk?

Reach out to us, we would be happy to share with you our experiences and what we seeing in the market.

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