September 18, 2019
Artificial Intelligence, more commonly referred to as AI, is one of the new trending phrases of our time. For some, the use of AI in business processes may seem like a distant future, but there is already a lot that companies can do to prepare so that they do not end up behind competitors.
Today, almost all large businesses have implemented AI in their organizations at different levels, however, the technology is still so expensive that general AI systems are not yet readily available for small and medium size companies.
Current AI systems are built to gather historic data to support the human decision-making processes. When the adoption of AI increases — and becomes more accessible for all — it will be a useful decision support tool that will be capable of offering a range of solutions to queries based off of this stored data. In order for the system to submit accurate proposals, it’s crucial to gather as much detailed data as possible. The user can then consider the suggestions presented by the AI and confidently make a final decision.
The future does not mean one AI system per company, rather, several AI-supported routines within each company. For example, not only will your AI be useful for decision-making, you will also be able to replace your Warehouse Manager with AI as it grows smart enough to perform simple routine tasks.
AI is rapidly being implemented in different industries and for different service types; but the development is already in full swing.
Karl Bohlin, CEO of HansaWorld, says, "We who make AI systems for larger companies will be able to package these into general systems that will suit more companies. It will be cheaper year by year and will require much less adaptation during implementation. Any year now, even small and medium-sized companies will be able to have all-inclusive AI systems."
Karl believes, despite the fact that general AI systems are not every man's property yet, it is high time companies start to prepare. It is true that AI systems need to look at companies' transaction history to provide maximum benefit; this means that companies should already be collecting as much data as possible to maximize the benefits of the AI systems once they are implemented.
"The information you capture today will be the gold of the future," says Karl.
Karl also suggests that you can prepare your organization by ensuring that someone internally has knowledge of the market and understands what is happening now, and what is coming, in AI. It can be an external consultant, an IT expert, or you can train someone within the organization and make them responsible for keeping abreast of industry developments. Karl believes that AI will provide great opportunities for organizations to keep competitive and increase profit margins.
AI as a natural part of development
Producing general AI systems that are far cheaper than those on the market today requires extensive development; and the idea is that one should be able to package the same functionality for a range of customers. HansaWorld has been developing ERP systems for 30 years and like most key players in the industry anticipate that AI is something customers will expect to have in a few years time. In order to be able to deliver this means that it must be built now.
Karl explains, "For example, we have a new product - a chatbot called Anna which you can call, see who is busy in a calendar, receive orders and find contacts in the customer register. Larger companies have such systems which cost millions, whereas our solution will cost a few cents per call. An AI function like our Anna does not eliminate the need to have a person answer the phone at the company, but it alleviates some of the routine steps and contributes to improved efficiency for those working at the company."
"When affordable systems are introduced, AI will also be available to small and medium size businesses which will provide everyone with faster and more accurate data for decision-making. HR managers, purchasing managers, development managers and others will have an easier life," Karl predicts.
"This type of decision support will make work easier for a person in a company who has a multitude of decision-making responsibilities. This means that as a company, you can be more efficient and will stand up better against your competition. Otherwise, the sad reality is, that companies who can afford this technology will supersede the small and medium size companies that cannot afford it yet. AI will become a survival issue," Karl concludes.