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Innovation methodologies for IA: an interface between technology and business

In recent years, there has been exponential growth in companies’ interest in introducing strategies based on artificial intelligence or AI. This is due to the overriding need to automate procedures and attain ever-more stable levels of efficiency.

We know that AI can help us optimise productivity, accelerate revenue and increase each and every customer’s satisfaction. Nevertheless, it is true that introducing AI in big and medium-sized companies’ projects can be a slow and often complicated process. According to various studies carried out by Gartner, 85% of AI projects fail and remain at the trial and concept stage. The reason? They lack a strategic focus in line with the problems faced by the business.

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The solution: an interface between technology and business

Until now, the main reason that AI has been introduced so slowly into business management is the lack of an effective strategy for the two fields to coordinate their strengths. Each of them has achieved great developments and extraordinary headway separately, but when it comes to lining up to work together, everything seems to indicate that they communicate in completely different languages.

Hence, there is a need to create some kind of interface between technology and business, a method to foster dialogue between artificial intelligence and the business sphere, which at the same time will make it possible for AI applications to transform the latter and substantially improve it.

In this vein, it is worth highlighting the company Dear Intelligence, which specialises in providing its clients with AI solutions, and has attained excellent results by developing and applying Aibizfy.

Aibizfy is a method based on design thinking that is intended to help companies take up solutions based on AI in a personalised and accessible way.

Main challenges in dealing with AI-based projects

In order to understand how initiatives like Aibizfy can be essential in achieving better interaction between AI and business, we have to look at the panorama from the point of view of the business itself. As soon as AI began to put forward solutions to business problems, there arose a set of challenges that make it difficult for companies to take on AI-based projects.

1. AI entering companies

One of the main challenges faced by companies wanting to implement AI-based solutions concerns the type of proposal they receive from experts in the matter. Instead of getting personalised solutions adapted to their particular needs, companies can only choose from among AI strategies that have already worked for other companies in the same sector.

In other words, AI has traditionally entered companies via use cases, where the results obtained by other businesses in applying a specific technology must be evaluated, then a decision is taken as to whether that technology is right for solving similar problems in the company in question.

This approach puts small and medium-sized industry at a disadvantage, since the successful use cases usually appear within the world’s biggest companies, which can count on three essential factors for success in a machine learning strategy:

  • Large amounts of data generated by thousands of users.
  • A large workforce made up of experienced programmers and staff qualified and trained in the matter.
  • Goals that are easy to measure and implement using AI.

If a company has these three basic requisites, even so it will have to make a big effort to imagine how to apply the existing use cases to its particular situation. The truth is that there are no general businesses, so the artificial intelligence to be used must be based on a business solution that cannot be a general one, but one tailored to their needs.

2. Implementing AI is not the same as acquiring a product

On implementing AI-based solutions, many companies face a second obstacle: their own perception of artificial intelligence. While it is true that practically all medium-sized and big companies intend to adopt artificial intelligence in their business plans, it seems that not all of them are ready to do so.

In today’s world, no company can deny that investing in AI is one of the best decisions they can take. That’s why in the business world there is a latent atmosphere of fear of missing out on the opportunity to take advantage of all the benefits that such technological advances can provide.

But that same interest can bring about false expectations regarding the results that AI is able to produce, leading the business person to believe that their plans to introduce AI is as simple as installing advanced software or the latest machinery in their company, and that the return on investment should be as fast as possible.

AI’s true role in a company

In order to reduce the difficulty involved in implementing AI solutions in managing businesses, organisations must understand that introducing such intelligence is similar to the process of introducing new staff into a company, with all of the risks and problems that implies.

In fact, it is necessary to be aware that intelligence already exists within any company. This becomes apparent when different departments are able to detect certain problems and put forward sustainable solutions that end up working well. The aim of AI is to digitalise and improve that intelligence, which means a significant investment in time, money and resources.

To sum up, far from seeing AI as a new, attention-grabbing toy to show off compared to the competition, companies have to see it as an integral part of the company’s general strategy in order to identify and solve the problems that it has not been possible to tackle until now. That is where a third challenge appears in introducing AI-based solutions.

Involving the entire company in introducing AI-based solutions

In recent decades, technological advances have grown so dizzyingly fast that practically all companies these days have a department exclusively dedicated to administrating their technological resources, known as the Information Technology Department (IT).

The IT department is made up of professionals who give support and assistance for the different technological inconveniences that arise in the company’s other sectors. Hence, it may be supposed that every solution based on artificial intelligence should enter the company through the IT department. But is that true?

Those who perceive AI as just another type of technology have no qualms about entrusting the IT department with managing the introduction of machine learning-based solutions. However, this approach leaves out a fundamental truth: IT departments are not aware of the day-to-day challenges faced by the company.

Greater participation in finding solutions

Instead of leaving AI-based solutions to be handled by the IT department, it is much better to allow all layers of the business, from management areas to customer service, to take part in identifying the problems affecting the company, as well as in choosing the technological proposal to solve them.

That is where companies like Dear Intelligence and initiatives such as Aibizfy change the game in their way of addressing business problems using artificial intelligence-based strategies. A brief analysis about this new method will suffice to understand how much the panorama can be improved when we change our way of looking at it.

Cards used in the Aibizfy method’s “discovery” stage.

Dear Intelligence and its goal of ‘democratising the use of AI in companies’

Dear Intelligence is a company that seeks to democratise the use of AI to find real solutions to specific problems not just in big and medium-sized companies, but especially in SMEs. In addition to providing funding to invest in artificial intelligence projects, they have developed a groundbreaking method to introduce these projects into companies.

In the words of Emili Murcia, co-founder of Dear Intelligence, this initiative seeks to help a business to “become the one that truly demands the artificial intelligence from their point of view and not from the view of science or technology regarding IA”. It is with this in mind that Aibizfy was launched. It is a method that acts as an interface between the business and AI to help them interact.

Aibizfy: a new way of implementing AI solutions

In order to foster this dialogue between the company and technology, in Dear Intelligence they have developed their own method called Aibizfy. It is based on design thinking, using a workshop divided into three main stages:

  1. Discovery: This uses interplay with cards to detect an organisation’s AI needs by looking at common problems compiled after studying over 150 companies.
  2. Canvas: After prioritising the most relevant challenges, a canvas or picture is drawn up defining all of the aspects of those challenges in detail, including the business aspects (the problem to be solved and ROI), available resources (data to feed the AI), ethical and regulatory aspects, etc.
  3. Strategy: Based on this briefing, the AI experts can now draw up a strategic plan to respond to the challenges identified.

The Aibizfy method’s workshop format is well-suited to tackling and solving complex problems which by their very definition involve various sectors of the company. Thus, not only is the company put in touch with the AI, but an atmosphere is created for different departments in the same company (not just IT) to be able to express their point of view.

The three stages in the Aibizfy method.

New approach, new opportunities

It is clear that AI has great potential to substantially transform any business. By using it, it is possible to go beyond intuition based on experience gathered over time, so as to create effective solutions to real problems that had not been identified or entirely understood.

Even so, in order to take advantage of all that AI has to offer, it is necessary to modify the culturally ingrained approach that we are used to applying to this type of technology. This calls for new methods to enable fast, effective integration of AI into the most significant problems in society, such as in the business environment, until it finally becomes an integral part of our everyday life.

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