For effectiveness of AI, we need lots of data and robust data management practices. There’s need to identify data sources, build data pipelines, clean and prepare data, identify potential signals in your data, and measure your results. Organizations that are serious about AI have historically been proficient at acquiring and managing data as a strategic asset. Data-driven, a stepping-stone toward AI, really means that all decisions and actions taken by the enterprise and employees are done by using the most factual and accurate data and there is a well-defined method of applying scientific analysis to this data to arrive at decisions. It is about being conscious about how you are using (or not using) the tools (data and algorithms) at your disposal. You must ask questions and not maintain the status quo; let’s call it the “data-driven” strategy, which is a prerequisite to an effective AI strategy. This pervasiveness of AI triggers another interesting phenomenon — the more we use it, the smarter it becomes.
An AI-first approach to everything has more implications. Organizations need to assess business and technical landscape and determine the need for AI-led interventions. You don’t need to blindly follow what magic AI has done elsewhere. When doing a lift-and-shift and appling it to your business scenarios as this approach may do more harm. You need your AI applications to be relevant to your business, take advantage of your data, and learn about and improve your past performance. And along the way, if you happen to generate new ideas that result in unique value propositions, new products, and new offerings, it is great.
AI technology is transformational and will require new leadership skills to evangelize within the enterprise. Modern organizations value empowered AI as much as they value empowered people. AI, in many ways, is pervasive and provocative as we begin to outsource everything to algorithms. Automation is truly improving the quality of life, but we should be mindful of tasks to delegate or demarcate between humans and machines. For example, CEOs must make it clear when smart algorithms, rather than human associates, are to be consulted. This can be difficult. Some of the most important decisions regarding machine learning are usually about the extent of authority the AI agents should have.