Artificial intelligence (AI) is driving colossal innovation in every vertical. In some cases, AI systems perform tasks that used to be manual, which saves resources. In other cases, AI performs tasks that were previously impossible, such as processing millions of data points in an instant.
For businesses, AI is becoming table stakes. It is no longer reserved for innovators, early adopters, or large companies. AI-enabled systems can improve the customer experience, streamline customer service, drive operational efficiencies, increase sales, improve product and support features, and much more.
In 2017, the most common business use cases for AI included improving IT security and detecting and protecting against cyber threats; resolving user technology problems; and automating product management, according to research reported in Harvard Business Review. Businesses also use AI to improve their marketing efforts, by testing out marketing messages and improving their audience targeting and media buying.
In addition to using AI to improve their business, companies must understand the consumer perspective. AI is transforming the world around us. People now expect personalized, seamless data-driven experiences. They don’t call customer service–they interact with a chatbot instead. By 2019, there will be 67 million voice-assisted devices in the U.S. And soon enough, we won’t order an Uber or Lyft–we will call for a self-driving car.
AI for Professional Services
Investing in AI is critical to remaining competitive. In 2017, worldwide spending on digital transformation technologies hit $1.2 trillion, according to estimates from IDC. The professional services industry uses AI to drive the customer discovery process, facilitate project delivery, improve project management, and streamline the billing process.
Recently, TSIA released a report on its recommended technology stack for professional services businesses. These technologies help companies boost productivity, revenue, and margins. The report notes that automation is no longer a tool for standing out–it is common practice. Companies automate tasks like resource management, project management, and project accounting. To stand out, you have to take AI one step further and use it to drive greater innovation. For example, PS “Pacesetters” layer existing tools with machine learning and analytics to glean insights that can improve project planning, the sales pipeline, and project margins, TSIA reports.
Companies can also use AI to improve their customer recommendation engines. Think of how Netflix analyzes billions of data points to make content recommendations, or how Pandora uses AI to recommend music. PS businesses can use AI to make better predictions about the types of services customers will need, and when.
WorkRails we understand the benefits of AI and increasingly use it to power our Service Catalog Platform and drive product enhancements. We also use AI to improve our internal processes, from marketing to operations. Automation is in our very ethos. To learn more about what we do, check out this primer: What is a Service Catalog Platform?