From recommending movies we might like, to powering smart assistants in our phones, to helping self-driving cars navigate the streets, artificial intelligence (AI) is edging its way into every aspect of our lives — and our work is no exception.

With the ability to derive value from data and enhance human intelligence, the smart technology has the potential to revamp the digital workplace and augment the workforce, resulting in increased productivity, improved efficiency, and reduced operational costs. In fact, Gartner predicts that artificial intelligence will be commonplace in the office by 2025.

To create an intelligent, AI-driven workplace, you need a sound, well-thought-out strategy. Consider these actionable tips to smoothly transition to Enterprise 2.0 and gain a competitive advantage.

Identify the areas for AI-fueled enhancement

First things first: to build an AI-driven organization you need to work out which spheres of your business stand to benefit the most from the smart technology. With such subsets as natural language processing (NLP) and deep and machine learning, AI enables companies to streamline business workflows, speed up data processing, and accelerate time to insight. These next-gen capabilities can be effectively leveraged to maximize value across the entire organization. 

Back-office operations

The unsung hero of any enterprise, the back office underpins successful business performance. From human resources, to finance and accounting, to supply chain management, to logistics, back-office activities rely on complex workflows and processes that are labor-intensive, time-consuming, and downright nerve-wracking.

Artificial intelligence can help you transform your back office into a highly effective environment. Infused with AI, robotic process automation (RPA) can do much more than eliminate repetitive manual tasks and cut tedious work. Think accurate text analysis for accelerating contract review and risk assessment, high-quality image recognition for automated claims processing, warehouse automation for predicting demand and planning logistics, and more.

Front-office operations

Customer-facing activities can significantly benefit from intelligent automation, too. To help human agents with customer service and deliver better online experiences, forward-thinking companies augment their workforce with virtual assistants and smart chatbots. 

Available round the clock, these conversational AI solutions can answer routine queries, handle simple transactions, provide specific assistance, and even offer personalized recommendations based on a user’s history and interactions. By cutting response time down to a few seconds, virtual assistants reduce customer service costs by 30% and free up employees’ time to focus on more complex tasks that require a unique human perspective and creative mindset.

Provide the necessary infrastructure

Artificial intelligence can deliver significant productivity gains, but inadequate IT infrastructure can hold back successful AI implementations. Running on sophisticated computations, AI workloads are very resource-demanding. That’s why tech-savvy businesses are focused on AI platform performance, above all else.

While general-purpose CPUs may have a hard time keeping up with specific AI applications, next-gen GPUs can deliver the required performance improvements. Also, make sure that your storage solutions are robust and optimized for real-time data processing to power advanced analytics capabilities. 

Moving forward with your AI initiative, another question pops up — where are you going to deploy your applications? There are a number of considerations to take into account when deciding between on-prem and cloud-based infrastructure, including setup costs, data gravity, privacy and security concerns.

Early in the AI journey, you may find it easier to leverage the cloud for crunching your AI workloads. Top cloud service providers — Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform — offer a slew of AI development tools. But as your AI project becomes more mature and renting price increases concurrently, on-prem or hybrid deployment might become more suitable for your business needs.

Educate your workforce

For an AI-powered workplace transformation to become a success, every employee needs to be on board with it. After all, AI-powered systems are only tools that serve to amplify your workforce capabilities and augment human intelligence.

Your employees, in fact, are your most valuable assets, and continuous upskilling and re-skilling of your workforce is key to staying competitive in a rapidly changing business landscape. Companies leverage employee training solutions to bridge skills gaps and turn workers into hot commodities with unique skill sets.

Artificial intelligence can help maximize training efforts and significantly improve learning outcomes by personalizing education content to meet an employee’s particular needs and tracking success. The benefits include better learner engagement, higher completion rates, and lower training costs.

To wrap it up

AI has grabbed the spotlight as a powerful technology that can bring new efficiencies to the workplace. From streamlined back-office workflows to AI-driven customer service, companies are wising up to how human-machine collaboration can improve productivity while reducing operating costs. To set your enterprise AI initiative for success, make sure to provide the required IT infrastructure and train your employees to create a powerful, future-ready blended workforce.

Yuliya Vasilyeva is an R&D specialist at Softage, a company that provides custom software development services. She is passionate about the potential of technology to help businesses achieve greater outcomes.

AI stock photo by metamorworks/Shutterstock