AI is here. Are you prepared?
Over the past year, AI has quickly become a real consideration. While there’s no shortage of thought pieces to catch up on the latest developments in artificial intelligence, many business leaders are still left scratching their heads. How does it apply to my business? How does it apply to my role? What is the actual opportunity here? Should I be paying attention?
For some, AI has already found its way into the strategic plan. The pace of AI adoption across enterprise businesses is proving rapid. The obvious appeal is efficiency through automation. But stopping there is short sighted, particularly when we begin to peel back the layers and understand that there very well could be an AI consideration factored into nearly every aspect of business, and in every corner of the customer experience.
The AI ecosystem is already a vast space with emerging solutions to all forms of business challenges. While a handful of services like ChatGPT from OpenAI are taking up much of the spotlight, in the shadows, there’s a VC-fueled race to bring new AI-powered services to market. And to be clear, AI is not just a startup game – most enterprise technology firms – like IBM, Salesforce, Autodesk – have made significant efforts to bring AI capabilities into their product offering.
But like most technological advances before, once the dust settles, how do we know what we should actually pay attention to? What’s real? What’s of value? And what’s just vapor?
For those of you just getting started down your own AI exploration journey, the following is our own framework for organizing how we’re evaluating AI and the possibilities we see unlocking for our own business, our team, and our clients. We hope this helps steer your thinking towards a more structured approach to factoring AI into your strategic plan.
1 – Improving internal methods.
The promise of increased velocity through generative AI is extremely appealing, and it’s already proving to be a reality. The tools we use today are helping speed up research, ideation, design, and production, while automating repetitive tasks to keep us focused on the most meaningful activities. This reallocation of time changes how we organize our work, shifting a greater percentage of resources towards value creation over administration.
2 – Unlocking new capabilities.
As a collective team, each with specific expertise, we expect AI will continue to create new avenues to expand our capabilities, where once we would need to add to our headcount or rely on external partners. This “in-housing” of certain specialized skills through AI services expands our reach and enhances our ability to add value within our client engagements. At the same time, this also frees up our team to strengthen and optimize the existing capabilities we employ today.
3 – Advancing the products and experiences we create.
We’re forecasting a tidal wave of branded products, services, and experiences that will redefine the value exchange between organizations and their customers. As a partner to client teams seeking to bring differentiated experiences to market, we’re evolving our approach to research, concepting, and ideation, to uncover new possibilities that leverage LLMs to seamlessly integrate AI as a means of driving deeper engagement, true personalization, and product intelligence.
4 – Expanding how we serve our clients.
As organizations across all categories are eager to identify their own AI opportunities, we’re looking beyond the digital experience space to offer our clients a consultative and research-based approach that aims to pair AI driven solutions with real, internal, and client facing business challenges across the organization. This means looking into the business to understand where pain-points and inefficiencies could be minimized through the design of advanced, AI-driven solutions that simply weren’t possible before.
Why it matters.
While we’ve all seen technology trends gain momentum only to quickly fade away, the surge in advancements in AI are on a level worth paying attention to. Much like the introduction of the smartphone, or the consumer Internet before it, the future of AI will surely have a fundamental impact on nearly every aspect of business, and across every industry.
For technology-led organizations – from software to financial services – AI unlocks a whole new level of enhancement opportunities, allowing these organizations to offer customers truly intelligent services. In media and entertainment, AI will blur the line of reality, enabling new forms of fan engagement across sports, film, and gaming. In retail and e-commerce, AI is already enabling a deeper level of personalization, helping brands deliver a smarter customer experience that drives deeper loyalty.
Every industry will be impacted, each in specific ways.
What you can do.
First, consider your own self-led exploration and education. There is no shortage of information online to get acquainted with the language of AI and its possibilities. And importantly, AI won’t only impact your business. It’s likely to impact your role too.
With a foundational understanding of AI, you’ll be equipped to begin to identify high-value use cases, explore solutions, and understand the rough magnitude of effort required to stand up an AI experiment. At a personal level, getting acquainted with using the tools regularly will not only present efficiency, but will also help unlock time to be better spent on more meaningful tasks.
If AI is part of your roadmap for the year ahead, you’ll need to put the right methods, tools, and partnerships in place. For most organizations this means engaging your agency partners to help guide these efforts. Our recommendation is to start with what we’re calling AI Exploration and Experimentation, focused on identifying opportunities and prototyping solutions to test what sticks.
If you’re at the stage of identifying a path forward in AI, reach out to us to learn more about our approach and how we can help you unlock growth and value creation.