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A Strategic AI Roadmap

Roy Amara, a cofounder of the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, observed what’s now called Amara’s Law :

Today, AI is proving this law true in both cases. Every day technology is evolving, especially with generative AI effecting change. For example, a chatbot based on GPT-4 passing the bar exam.

The blend of increased intelligence, automation and accelerated productivity is boosting work efficiency, marking a new era of innovation, creating new opportunities, etc. To benefit from this, leaders need a proactive, forward-thinking approach. With AI advancing and the need to be opportunistic, organizations can not be passive since there are severe consequences for not performing, meeting rising User expectations, etc. Fundamentally, it’s not in anyone’s best interest for their organization to be a victim of change (as indicated in the significant turn over in the Fortune 500 list over time)!

To move forward, prioritizing AI readiness and scalability that aligns with business strategic and innovation initiatives is critical.  This includes adding important new capabilities / services / products, developing new competencies, meaningfully improving business outcomes, providing a competitive advantage, etc. to be a future ready organization.

To make good on the opportunity with AI to realize these significant benefits,  a roadmap for effective AI adoption includes –

Winning organizations will curate their data into shared bodies of knowledge that enable AI models like GPT-backed Copilots to drive digitalization at scale.

A recent Gartner report found that nearly 70% of CFOs believe digital spending is underperforming against expected outcomes. The root cause is a disconnect between those outcomes and an organization’s capacity to deliver them. A Project to Product 2023 State of the Industry Report found that business leaders believe IT teams in charge of digital transformation efforts can deliver 10 times more than they do – and that only 8 % of IT and software development plans are ultimately executed !

The major roadblocks to success are the challenges with change, getting past the historic notions of risk, disparate data, siloed systems and thinking, lack of imagination, politics, etc. While most organizations leverage a myriad different systems and tools to deliver transformation at scale, Fit-for-Purpose Systems can also deliver results when a standardization strategy isn’t practical.  Regardless, since many of the different systems and data are not integrated or aligned with minimal interoperability, this causes issues and bottlenecks that hinder innovation and transformation.

To get past this is why curating datasets into a common ontology and in a centralized data platform creates a holistic picture of how the business better positions new initiatives to succeed. Once in place, organizations can then engineer prompts to train generative AI to produce impactful prescriptive insights, identify high-risk initiatives and refine resource allocations. This helps remove drudgery from works and strategic planning – to – execution processes with AI-powered productivity.

Organizations that better leverage data accelerate progress to value and are more agile in adapting to evolving environments and exploring new opportunities.

Copilots will become fixtures of digital-centric work environments. ” Copilot ” is quickly becoming less of a proprietary name and more of a staple term for augmenting human performance.

There are a few ways to incorporate Copilots in your organization. Coding Copilots will continue to gain broad adoption in 2024, enabling better code productivity and quality. We will also see increased adoption of application Copilots that democratize technical processes—helping casual, infrequent or novice users maximize the value.

Top-performing Copilots deliver actionable recommendations derived from meticulously curated data. Success in digital initiatives hinges on cross-business alignment, establishing outcome baselines and setting targets while diligently tracking actuals.

Last month, Microsoft announced the availability of its new Copilot, which integrates with M365 applications. My organization launched our Copilot in September, which enables users to maximize the value of our platform through data-driven insights. GitHub also has a Copilot, as does Salesforce and several other leading technology companies.

Review the different Copilot applications and see how each can add value to your business. As stated in this August 2023 Gartner report, enterprise leaders should apply this emerging technology to planning efforts to ensure the formulation of a well-informed digital business strategy.

While AI has the potential to significantly impact processes, the notion of value, be disruptive, replace humans, etc., a more informed perspective is to move away from the –

…. with AI  – augmenting and enhancing people’s capabilities, improving manual workflows, adding intelligence to processes, having better look ahead, expanding the options to achieve goals and explore new opportunities, enabling more timely and better decision making, being able to better manage change and reduce risk, etc. With these being significant benefits, the sooner an organization develops AI (and other digital) competencies, the sooner the organization has advantage.

Forrester estimates that enterprise AI initiatives will free up to 50 % more time for people responsible for creative problem-solving, driving innovation, generating new business value and revenue, etc.  As AI adoption accelerates, reskilling will be critical to enabling people to be much better at strategic thinking, ideation, developing the mindset to innovate for impact, better scoping and assessing opportunities, improve at articulating a compelling value proposition, better assessing and mitigating the risks associated with pursuing opportunity and managing change, etc. With these being significant added competencies, the sooner an organization develops these skills, the sooner an organization has further advantage  + becomes much more appealing to attract and retain top talent.

recent IBM study found that 40 % of workers will need to reskill over the next 3 years due to AI – and that early adopters of AI-driven job changes will report a revenue growth rate premium of 15 % on average !  To benefit from this, leaders need to identify which internal positions and/or departments have the greater opportunities, are interested in doing meaningful innovation, and have greatest need for reskilling – and start scaling investments accordingly (sooner than later).

To successfully integrate AI into the organization with the Curation of Data, Copilots, and Strategic Reskilling, this is the time to –

  1. deliver new value
  2. expand opportunities
  3. increase relevance and revenue
  4. better manage change and risk

+ be good at strategic thinking and excellent at execution in embracing and harnessing AI to –

  • make innovation more rewarding
  • meaningfully improve outcomes

In closing, please contact CAIL if interested in discussing strategy to realize these significant advantages.

Jan 11, 2024   By Razat Gaurav / Forbes / CAIL        CAIL Innovation commentary                                     905-940-9000