What’s stopping businesses seeing real value from AI/ML?
Where is the real value?
What is stopping businesses from seeing real value from artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)? Ahead of the Aotearoa AI Summit on 12 September in Auckland, we asked Servian’s Sean Muller to explain:
Artificial Intelligence and machine learning technologies have the potential to dramatically transform businesses and industries at scale. However, many organisations may falter before they have even begun. There are two primary issues stopping businesses from gaining the value and outcomes from AI/ML:
- A lack of understanding between what the business wants and needs, and what the technology delivery teams think the business wants and needs.
- A lack of clear outcomes from the business and the data analytics teams understanding of those outcomes
These two issues can lead to major cost wastage and many confusing discussions (at the beginning and end of projects) with many business owners walking away shaking their heads while asking, ‘how are my competitors managing to do this when I can’t seem to deliver the outcome?’
The answer is simple to understand, but often difficult to implement because it requires a change in culture. This includes:
- providing a better understanding of the business outcomes and value
- working more collaboratively across the technology and data analytics teams
- leveraging known software development practices to enhance the development of machine learning models and artificial intelligence functions.
What value does the business want and expect from AI/ML?
Most businesses see AI/ML as transformative technologies with the promise of either fundamentally changing the way they work or providing an exponential, or geometric, growth in sales and revenue.
In practice, the business may see no real difference between any of the AI fields or offerings (or software for websites or backend databases) except that their expectations are higher. Essentially, businesses often don’t fully appreciate or understand the clean data requirements, the time required to train a model (and the difference between training and writing software), the difference between configuration and software development, whether a model is created or consumed from an online source or what the data looks like in a graph or table.
However, businesses are consciously concerned with the cost of developing, maintaining, updating and replacing an AI/ML model. Fundamentally, businesses want to know what ML models can tell them and what AI functions can do for them. They are also focused on how long it takes to access usable predictions (or outcomes from a model), knowing ahead of time when a model is going to go bad and understanding the impact of AI/ML issues for the business.
‘No project was ever delivered on time or on budget!’
Time and budget are the two key factors that can either make or break a project. Although AI/ML models often provide useful information, the process of consuming these is generally less than ideal. Costs to deliver outcomes may be completely unknown or fail to meet expectations. Together these factors reinforce the sentiment that no project is ever delivered on time or within budget. Often, the results may pave the way for a startup to completely disrupt the business.
If business outcomes are not met, the true transformative aspects of AI/ML are left on the table and ignored. Clearly defining project scope, setting objectives, ensuring effective communication, strong collaboration, project and risk management can all help ensure successful project delivery.
Join Sean Muller at the Aotearoa AI Summit on 12 September where he joins the AI for business conversation. Sean will discuss influencing next generation transformation including:
- building automation and insight through smart AI provision
- enabling engagement with customers, staff and stakeholders
- what is AI doing for business? Crushing inefficiencies and building intuitive interfaces.
Interested in solving real problems using AI? Connect, learn and share at New Zealand’s essential AI event, the Aotearoa AI Summit – AI in Action on 12 September in Auckland. Join the conversation and learn more > https://aotearoaai.nz/