What is an AI company?
Let us make a comparison here. What is an e-commerce company? Is an e-commerce a shop with a website? Or is an e-commerce company a company that makes e-commerce the core of its business model, constantly developing everything around e-commerce? Think of Amazon, Coolblue, Bol.com, etc..
Likewise, you can’t be an AI company by just applying some AI. It’s a total transformation of your entire business and organisation. This sounds daunting, doesn’t it? Well of course it is, but as they say “a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step”.
What is AI?
Artificial intelligence is the capacity of a computer to perform operations analogous to learning and decision making in humans. It consists of several specialist areas, the most important of which are:
- Machine learning: the ability of computers to learn without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning outputs B given single variable A.
- Deep learning: machine learning using a big mathematical equation feeding various variables to reach an A-B input-output.
- Data science: extracting knowledge or insights from data. Data Science partially overlaps the terrain of AI, but is also complementary to AI.
How to start with AI?
- Create pilot projects
The first step is to create pilot projects in order to gain momentum in the organisation. But also in order to learn. AI can not do everything. It’s not an all encompassing approach. It is very successful in certain areas, but it is not yet successful in other areas. So, gaining the experience through pilot projects and gaining momentum in the organisation at the same time is important as a first step.
- Bring in your AI-team
Once you have made a good definition and put a good strategy in place on how to execute on your transformation, you need to bring in your AI-team. An AI team is a multidisciplinary cross functional team of technical experts and experts from the business that work together on generating the transformation. The AI team needs to define the pilot projects and take ownership of the execution of the projects.
- Provide a broad training
AI is something that you need to do as a company. You can not just do it in isolation. So, you also need to provide broad training to all your team members. Everyone is involved in AI in some way.
- Implement an AI strategy
To have an AI-strategy or to have a transformation strategy is important in any kind of transformation. You need to know where you want to go and how you want to get there. But at the same time, you need to be flexible, you need to be able to adjust while you are on your way.
Communication is also going to be crucial, because AI is a cultural change as well. If you expect that you can continue to work in exactly the same ways as before while becoming an AI company, you will be disappointed. You need to break through your silos, you need to install different mindsets and different ways of working within your organisation.
AI also thrives with open innovation. You need to open the doors to the external world, you need to build up an ecosystem of partners and people that collaborate with your internal people. So, external communication is also going to be very important in your successful transformation.
It is an exciting journey, it is a journey that secures the lasting success of your organisation. But it is also a journey that – although like with any change management will go through some pain – will provide a much more comfortable and much more pleasant work environment for everybody on the team. At least, that is our experience so far in dealing with these kinds of projects.
We hope that you have gained some more knowledge of what an AI transformation means. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.