How artificial intelligence will affect business in the next decade

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From the boardroom to your living room, artificial intelligence (AI) is nearly everywhere today. Tipped as the most disruptive technology of all time, it has already transformed industries across the globe. And companies are racing to understand how to integrate it into their own business processes.

AI is not a new concept. The technology has been with us for a long time, but in the past, there were too many barriers to its use and applicability in our everyday lives. Now improvements in computing power and storage, increased data volumes and more advanced algorithms mean that AI is going mainstream. Businesses are harnessing its power to reinvent themselves and stay relevant in the digital age.

Most organisations can’t cope with the data they already have.

The technology makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform humanlike tasks. It does this by processing large amounts of data and recognising patterns. AI analyses much more data than humans at a much deeper level, and faster. 

Most organisations can’t cope with the data they already have, let alone the data that is around the corner. So there’s a huge opportunity for organisations to use AI to turn all that data into knowledge to make faster and more accurate decisions. 

 

Hidden Insights: How artificial intelligence will affect business in the next decade

Customer experience

Customer experience is increasingly the new competitive battleground for all organisations. Over the next decade, businesses that dominate in this area will be the ones that survive and thrive. Analysing and interpreting the mountains of customer data within the organisation in real time and turning it into valuable insights and actions will be crucial.  

Today most organisations are using data only to report on what their customers did in the past. SAS research reveals that 93% of businesses currently cannot use analytics to predict individual customer needs.

Over the next decade, we will see more organisations using machine learning to predict future customer behaviours and needs. Just as an AI can teach itself chess, organizations can use their existing massive volumes of customer data to teach AI what the next-best action for an individual customer should be. This could include what product to recommend next or which marketing activity is most likely to result in a positive response. 

This approach saw Shop Direct’s profits surge by 40%, driven by a 15.9% increase in sales from Very.co.uk. #artificalintelligence #innovation Click To Tweet

Automating decisions

In addition to improving insights and making accurate predictions, AI offers the potential to go one step further and automate business decision making entirely. Front-line workers or dependent applications make thousands of operational decisions every day that AI can make faster, more accurately and more consistently. Ultimately this means improving KPIs for customer satisfaction, revenue growth, return on assets, production uptime, operational costs, meeting targets and more.

This approach saw Shop Direct’s profits surge by 40%, driven by a 15.9% increase in sales from Very.co.uk. Take Shop Direct, which owns the Littlewoods and Very brands. It uses AI from SAS to analyse customer data in real time and automate decisions to drive groundbreaking personalisation at an individual customer level.

AI is here. It’s already being adopted faster than the arrival of the internet. And it’s delivering business results across almost every industry today. In the next decade, every successful company will have AI. And the effects on skills, culture and structure will deliver superior customer experiences.

If you would like to discuss any of the themes in this post, feel free to reach out to me on tiffany.carpenter@sas.com or connect with me on Twitter @T_J_Carpenter. Or you may want to discover more insights about artifical intelligence by means of the results of the AI momentum maturity survey.

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About Author

Tiffany Carpenter

Head of Customer Intelligence, SAS UK & Ireland

Tiffany has been helping organisations achieve bottom line results from their customer and marketing strategies for over 20 years. She specialises in helping companies gain deeper insight into their customers’ buying habits, preferences and lifestyles, social relationships and influences on purchase behaviour and loyalty - and using this insight to make smarter, data-driven decisions. Every customer journey is unique and every touch point is an opportunity to nurture customer relationships and deepen customer intimacy. Tiffany helps organisations get in sync with each customer's journey – no matter how fragmented for a clear competitive advantage and a bigger, better ROI.

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