3 steps to an automated business future

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How IT managers use the range of AI tools at their disposal will determine the success of the customer experience, staff retention and even revenue.

As technology advances, AI will increasingly become “an artificer of different key parts of your work and the work of the people you support,” said Whit Andrews, a distinguished VP analyst at Gartner, s speaking Oct. 19 at the Gartner IT Symposium/ Xpo, in Orlando, Florida.

And leaders are investing in this long-term trend. Planned spending on AI software is expected to double by 2025, reaching $64 billion and growing faster than the general software category, according to Forrester projections.

With the full potential of AI still being developed, here are three specific actions to start today:

Build a portfolio of projects at the right size

Companies have long targeted repeatable, time-consuming tasks with AI projects, a strategy to address time and labor constraints. But modern businesses should have the right scope when it comes to experimenting with AI – not too much, not too little.

“It breaks my heart when I hear an organization say they’re doing this great thing,” Andrews said. Instead of one large AI project, technology leaders should ensure their organizations can develop a diverse portfolio of ongoing projects.

On the other hand, too much initiative can also lead to wasted effort. Organizations completing 20% ​​more AI projects than their peers were more likely to report failure than organizations completing fewer projects.

Steering AI governance towards scale

Artificial intelligence has continually spread through organizations, more and more frequently as a component of other technologies rather than the core. This expansion can be difficult for leaders to effectively manage its use.

“Governance is probably the most important investment we can make today,” Andrews said.

Although 1 in 3 CIOs currently use AI, only 1 in 10 do so strategically, across multiple business units for specific purposes. As leaders shape governance, they should avoid limiting their organization’s use of technology, but instead use AI to scale.

It’s up to executives to ask how and where AI can spur creativity, whether it’s designing networks or implementing new pricing strategies, according to Andrews.

“What can you turn to in artificial intelligence to start helping you get started or get started in a meaningful way?” he said.

Solve a new talent landscape

Talent is becoming less and less necessary for implementing AI, most leaders said in a recent Gartner survey. The trend was a reversal of the long-held narrative around AI talent scarcity.

This change, Andrews said, signals a change in the way AI is generated, opening up access to more people within the company.

The new AI talent connection framework potentially means improved employee satisfaction.

“Help people invest their interest in AI work to find out what excites them, to find out what excites your organization,” Andrews said.