Moving towards us from the cusp of the horizon, artificial intelligence and machine learning are becoming increasingly important (and accessible!) players in the world of business. While a huge shift in adoption is unlikely within the next few years, waves of change are coming, and the businesses that can surf these waves of disruption and innovation will position themselves for strategic success in their market.
In this piece, we want to give you a guide to these technologies, how they will become increasingly commonplace in the technology stacks that businesses have, and how IT support providers can support businesses to leverage these technologies for success.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Business
Before we dive in, it’s worth getting clear on what artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are, and how they work.
AI mimics the abilities of humans to one degree or another. Older forms of AI could be used to automate business workflows and processes using explicit, concrete instructions. With older versions of AI, businesses could build automated processes, and systems that magnify their efficiency and scalability, and this is still an important use case for AI today.
The newer generation of AI falls more under the scope of ML (machine learning), a more flexible form of AI with a ‘softer’ kind of intelligence, one that can learn from data to achieve a programmed goal and use what it learns over time to achieve better results. You will likely have seen ML-driven AI technology such as ChatGPT and software that can create images using a written prompt. There are also data analytics algorithms that can make useful correlations and predictions between different datasets, enabling businesses to make insightful and creative data-backed decisions.
Where Can Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Benefit My Business?
To give you an idea of what businesses can use AI and ML technology for, here are some examples, with some of them being more accessible than others:
– Intelligent chatbots
– Omnichannel data analytics
– As virtual workplace assistants (e.g Microsoft CoPilot and Google’s Bard)
– Business process automation
– Marketing, particularly AI-driven content creation and data analytics
– Cyber security tools (machine learning driven monitoring tools)
How accessible each of these are depends on a range of factors, such as how the AI is being accessed and implemented. For example, Microsoft’s intelligent AI assistant, CoPilot, will be accessible to businesses as a part of their Microsoft 365 subscription. Businesses that use the 365 platform can also use the Power Automate tool for automating their business processes as well. Whereas other solutions, such as omnichannel data analytics, can take more legwork to fully implement.
What is fundamentally driving this accessibility is more ‘out of the box’ solutions. ML-driven products are increasingly available to businesses as pre-packaged solutions, especially in the world of Software-as-a-Service. Therefore, it’s worth asking the question ‘how can AI and ML be used in my business?’ so that you can tap into the benefits it can offer:
Advantages of AI-Driven Tools for Businesses
AI isn’t going to be replacing people anytime soon, but it can certainly complement their efforts. With AI, you can free up your people to take on more valuable, creative, strategic and relationship-focused tasks, while AI takes care of processes and tasks with more efficiency, without compromising on the value that is provided to customers.
The benefits of implementing AI in your business include:
– Large savings in time, as AI will be able to quickly, accurately and tirelessly complete tasks
– More scalability: your AI-driven systems can be scaled seamlessly with your business.
– Lower labour and office-space related costs.
– Better and faster decision-making.
– Optimized business management (e.g., supply chain management, financial forecasting)
– Business security through the ability to detect anomalous and suspicious behavioural patterns in your business, such as unusual user activity.
– Developing new products and revenue channels either through synthesising AI-driven capabilities into your offerings or using AI to discover new opportunities for your business.
– More personalized customer experiences, such as personalized chatbot conversation responses, or AI-driven product suggestions on different marketing touchpoints.
How IT Support Providers Can Help Businesses to Implement AI &ML
While these technologies are becoming more accessible, it often is not a walk in the park to implement them! This is where savvy IT support providers with digital transformation capabilities can add a lot of value to businesses in their efforts to tap into the potential of technology. An IT support provider can help your business in a few key ways:
Demystifying Technical Complexities
Implementing new technology can be complex, daunting and take up much time and resources. IT support providers are increasingly helping businesses to proactively adopt new technology by helping businesses understand it, how it can help them specifically, and create a plan for implementing it in a cohesive, non-disruptive and measured way. They act as a bridge between the technical side of technology, and harness these details to make it operationally valuable and manageable.
Implementing technology in the most precisely valuable way is important for making it genuinely valuable, but this can also be harder to achieve if there are technical barriers in the way. IT support providers will increasingly be able to customise AI and ML implementations in business departments and processes, enabling them to squeeze the most value from these technologies without compromising security and scalability.
Ongoing Maintenance and Optimization
Like all technologies, AI and ML solutions require regular maintenance. Algorithms need to be updated, data sets refined, and potential issues addressed. IT support providers can ensure that these systems run smoothly and are constantly optimised to create better results.
Security and Compliance
We anticipate there will be a natural convergence between the cyber security solutions of IT support providers and AI technology. Alongside helping businesses to use AI-driven cyber security solutions, providers will also ensure that these technologies, and the data that they process, are secure and compliant, protecting customers and the business alike.
The Future of AI and ML for Ireland’s Businesses
From Galway to Cork, and Dundalk to Waterford, businesses across Ireland and the wider world will be more able to adopt AI and ML driven technologies to support profitable growth and market success. While some will adopt these technologies more quickly than others, in any case, many businesses will face some technical, organisational and strategic barriers on their journey towards integrating these technologies.
This is where IT support providers can act as a mentor and implementation partner, enabling businesses to understand, align and deploy these technologies ahead of the competition. These technologies and the right kind of IT support will allow these businesses to transform how they operate and future-proof themselves more quickly. As the dawn of AI and ML increasingly crests into a noon of innovation, it will become more important to adopt them in your own business.
It all starts with a simple question for your business: ‘how can we begin implementing these technologies to help us to achieve our goals?’
PAQ: Leading IT Support Providers for Limerick, Cork, and Galway’s Businesses
We’re proud to be a leading IT support provider for businesses across Ireland, ensuring their day-to-day operations run reliably and efficiently. Our innovative Kaizen 360 program harnesses digital transformation to deliver the 75% of business value that most IT support providers fail to unlock.
Whether you’re looking for quality IT support, process automation, digital transformation solutions, cyber security support, or all of these in a unified package, PAQ IT will be able to serve your business with a tailored solution. Want to see what transformative IT looks like? Get in touch with us today for a complementary consultation. We’ll be glad to help you to succeed with technology.