The term artificial intelligence (AI) is used to cover many things - machine learning, cognitive agents, chatbots, blockchain and other so-called 'new tech'. The confusion is real. A cacophony of buzz-word-affixed solutions, methods, technical tools, platforms and academic definitions fill the daily press.
Although the high level of attention is positive for technology, the many words don’t lead to results.
A lack of in-depth understanding of new tech opportunities leads to uncoordinated initiatives that rarely go beyond proof-of-concept. If businesses are to integrate the technology, it is crucial that initiatives are implemented through to minimum-viable products.
One benefit of minimum viable products is that you can quickly roll them out to early adopters who can provide feedback, so you can improve and expand the solution. This also minimises the risk of developing software that doesn’t match the needs of users. It’s an approach that goes hand-in-hand with the great trend of today: agility.
There’s a need for Danish companies to decide on AI – to seriously take a stand. The hype needs to be replaced with clarity on which issue you want to address and to do it.
The work on AI concepts typically causes one of two scenarios; paralysis or overmobilisation.
Paralysis occurs when AI becomes too complex and when the ideas become too futuristic. Let us be clear - AI does not have to be complex. In our experience, most companies can identify practical, value-creating applications within a few weeks.
Overmobilisation happens in the companies that feel compelled to act now and launch large infrastructure projects instead of taking an agile approach, delivering value alongside incremental development of the supporting infrastructure.
To avoid paralysis and overmobilisation, create a clear vision and common approach to AI projects where business management and IT work with the rest of the business.
Then create a catalogue of ideas for specific applications and prioritise them based on value potential, feasibility and the legal landscape. In our experience, the inclusion of IT and legal early in the process is a prerequisite for success.
Finally, start with small priority ideas. Choose the ideas that can be realised in the current IT landscape and within eight weeks.
Only when you have developed and implemented a handful of AI-based solutions should you consider how to establish AI as a full-scale capability.
This approach, which follows the mantra "think big - start small - scale fast", has been tested and works. Use it to establish AI as a core competence in your business.