When it comes to digital transformation, the Covid disaster has taught corporate executives valuable lessons. The potential that data analytics and AI bring to the table is one of the most intriguing teachings.
Frito-Lay, for example, accelerated its digital and data-driven operations during the pandemic, condensing five years’ worth of digital planning into six months. “Launching a direct-to-consumer firm was always on our radar,” says Michael Lindsey, Frito-growth Lay’s officer. “The epidemic motivated our staff to work quicker than we could have anticipated.”
According to studies, the crisis has boosted the use of analytics and AI. This trend will continue into the 2020s. According to a PwC survey, the Covid issue advanced 52 percent of organizations’ AI deployment plans. Almost all, 86 percent, believe AI will be a “mainstream technology” in their organization by 2021. According to Harris Poll, which collaborated with Appen, 55 percent of organizations said that Covid boosted their AI plan in 2020. 67 percent anticipate further accelerating their AI strategy in 2021.
Will businesses be able to maintain this increased rate of digital and data-driven innovation as the world emerges from Covid? According to a poll conducted by The AI Journal, over three-quarters of business executives (72 percent) are optimistic about the role that AI will play in the future. Most executives (74 percent) believe AI will not only improve corporate operations but will also assist to build new business models (55 percent) and enable the development of new goods and services (54 percent ).
AI and analytics were crucial to organizations as they responded to changes in employment conditions and consumer spending caused by the Covid crisis. And, as the use of these technologies accelerates, businesses will draw on lessons learned during the last year. A half to guide their operations far into the next decade:
Business leaders have firsthand experience with the power and potential of analytics and AI in their organizations. “Since Covid, CEOs have been leaning in, asking how they can leverage data,” says Arnab Chakraborty. He is a global managing director at Accenture. “They want to know how to obtain a deeper understanding of their consumers”. They seek to make their supply chains and distribution networks more agile. The company understand the importance of establishing a data foundation by combining all of the data sets. Putting them into an insights engine with all of the algorithms, and powering insights solutions that can help them optimize their businesses. It increase agility in business processes, better understand their customers, and activate new revenue channels.”
Artificial Intelligence can help to alleviate skill shortages:
Travel, hospitality, and other service industries that have been impacted by the Covid issue require resources to ramp up to accommodate pent-up demand. Skills shortages have emerged in a variety of areas, ranging from truck drivers to warehouse employees to restaurant staff. Surprisingly, there is an increased demand to build AI and analytics to compensate for a lack of AI development expertise. According to Cognizant’s newest quarterly Jobs of the Future Index, the U.S. job market will have a “solid recovery” this year, particularly in the technology sector. AI, algorithm, and automation positions increased by 28% over the previous quarter.
According to Rob Jekielek, managing director at Harris Poll, AI is a vital component in developing solutions to what are anticipated to be ongoing, ever-changing skill demands and training. “Artificial Intelligence is already beginning to assist fill existing worker skill gaps through career transition support technologies”. AI is also assisting employees in doing their current and evolving duties better and quicker through the use of digital assistants and in-house AI-driven training programs.”
AI will also aid in the reduction of skill shortages by increasing support tasks. “Given that more and more items are either digital products or other types of technology products with user interfaces. There is a rising demand for support workers,” says Dr. Rebecca Parsons, ThoughtWorks chief technology officer. “Many simple inquiries can be answered by a well-trained chatbot, relieving at least part of the load”. Similarly, natural language processing algorithms may do rudimentary paper scanning, frequently for more prefabricated words.”
AI and analytics are increasing productivity:
Any productivity gains connected with technology adoption have been questioned throughout the years. However, artificial intelligence and analytics may finally be delivering on this long-awaited promise. “Productivity growth is now headed up,” write Erik Brynjolfsson and Georgios Petropoulos in MIT Technology Review, citing developments in digital technology such as artificial intelligence. “The invention of machine learning techniques, along with a significant drop in data storage prices and advances in computer power, has enabled enterprises to solve difficulties ranging from vision and voice to prediction and diagnosis”. The rapidly expanding cloud computing sector has made these advancements available to smaller businesses.”
AI and analytics are bringing new goods and services to market. Analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) have aided corporations such as Frito-Lay in hastening their rate of innovation. During the outbreak, Lindsey claims that the food firm created Snacks.com, “our first venture into the direct-to-consumer market,” in under 30 days. “We are now utilizing our customer and outlet data through analytics to predict store openings. The variations in demand due to return to work, and changes in tastes that are allowing us to reset the product possibilities down to the shop level inside a specific zip code,” he adds.
The application of artificial intelligence (AI) improves a company’s basic values. “We characterize our goal in two words: responsible growth,” says Sumeet Chabria, Bank of America’s global chief operating officer for technology and operations. “We’re in the trust business,” adds the narrator. We believe that using technology, data, and artificial intelligence ethically is one of the most crucial components of our expansion. As part of this, we’ve created a Responsible AI strategy, which means we prioritize the customer. Being process-driven begins with the needs of the customer and the consequence of your solution for the consumer. What function does artificial intelligence play in your organization? Is the process dictating the best option?”
AI and analytics are being used to address supply chain concerns:
There are residual impacts as the economy recovers from the Covid crisis. Products ranging from semiconductors to timber have been in short supply as a result of interruptions induced by the crisis. Analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) assist businesses in predicting, preparing for, and detecting issues that may disrupt their ability to supply products and services. AI-driven supply chains are still in their infancy. According to a report issued by the American Center for Productivity and Quality, with just 13% of executives expecting a significant influence from AI or cognitive computing in the coming year. Another 17% anticipate a moderate impact. Businesses are currently dependent on human ways to manage their supply chains; those who implement AI in the coming months and years will gain a huge competitive advantage.
“Supply chain planning that addresses supply chain interruptions can benefit in two ways,” explains Parsons. “The first is for the AI system to tackle simple tasks. This frees up human resources to solve more complicated supply chain issues. However, even in more difficult circumstances, the AI system may assist. For example, suggesting viable solutions to consider or speeding up an investigation of probable solutions by completing a solution from a recommendation on a specific section of the problem.”
AI is accelerating the growth of startups while also assisting businesses in dealing with disruption. Startups are aiming for established sectors by leveraging cutting-edge data-driven technology to penetrate new markets with novel solutions. According to Chakraborty, AI and analytics give “a significant potential for both startups and established organizations.” “AI cannot be done just by startups”. They are only able to solve a portion of the challenge. This is when teamwork comes into play. Larger enterprises have the chance to welcome those startups and integrate them into their ecosystem.”
Simultaneously, AI is assisting established organizations in competing with startups. They do by allowing them to test and iterate on new prospects much more quickly and on a much larger scale,” adds Jekielek. “This helps existing organizations to more rapidly identify high potential opportunity areas. As well as assess if it makes more sense to compete or, especially if discovered early, purchase.”
The next wave of corporate development and innovation will be data-driven. As the globe emerges from the Covid crisis, there will be chances for entrepreneurs, business leaders, and innovators to create value. They can develop new companies that can be quickly reconfigured and re-aligned as client demands alter. Next-generation technology, such as artificial intelligence and analytics, will be critical in driving company innovation and progress in this environment. As well as spawning new business models.