Transforming Possibilities into Profit: Linking AI to ROI

Bianca Reber

Bianca Reber


In the world of business, productivity gains are hard to come by. Companies are constantly under pressure to increase their return on investment (ROI), and artificial intelligence (AI) has become the new silver bullet for achieving that. The question is: how can we make AI work for our business? The following strategy outlines steps that will ensure your investment in AI brings substantial ROI.


Understanding the Potential of AI


AI is a broad term that encompasses various technologies, including machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision. These can be used to automate tasks like sorting mail, or representing abstractions such as swords, coins and villages; AI can improve decision-making on stock markets or speed up processing times for visas; it can give companies unique insights into turnover and consumption by analyzing huge amounts of data. AI can be used to transform tasks, create new experiences, and generate new revenues.


Aligning AI with Business Goals


The proper starting point for leveraging AI is to connect with your business goals, to be able to identify where the company needs to thrive, where it needs to make progress and transform, and ultimately target those areas where AI promises the biggest benefits.


For instance, if customer experience is key, AI might be used to automate responses to common queries, freeing human agents for more complex matters. If process improvement is the aim, AI might optimize supply chain management or predictive maintenance.


Building a Robust AI Strategy


Once you’ve figured out where AI is going to add value, you need to develop an AI strategy: honing in on the right technologies, building the capabilities of an AI team, and putting in place an AI governance framework to ensure that it’s used ethically and responsibly.


Your AI strategy should include:


1. Technology Selection: Make technology choices that match your business needs and shows promise in your industry.

2. Talent Acquisition Hire a team of data scientists, engineers and business analysts to work together to design and implement AI solutions.

3. Governance Framework: Create policies and procedures for ensuring AI is used ethically and in conformity with relevant regulatory requirements.


Implementing AI Solutions


Once you have a strategy, it’s time to deliver on it – and this is where it can get messy. Integrating AI into your existing systems and processes is not a simple task: it’s usually a huge, expensive undertaking that begins with small-scale pilots and slowly builds up delivery capability.


In the example of pilot projects, for instance, such an AI solution can be deployed ‘under test’ in a controlled environment, and the impact may be measured before the full-scale rollout of the solution. Continuous monitoring and evaluation are necessary to ensure the impact of AI solutions to deliver the net benefits.


Measuring ROI


But first, you need to calculate the return on investment (ROI) to prove it. You are measuring your AI investments with the KPIs that best reflect the impact on your own goals, whether that’s cost avoidance, revenue growth, better customer satisfaction or operational efficiencies. You can then periodically review these metrics to evaluate how well the AI efforts are working and to direct future steps for optimizing their performance.


AI’s potential to deliver efficiencies, improve customer experiences, and open up new growth opportunities can be achieved only if managed in the right way: by linking the technology to business outcomes, constructing a robust implementation strategy, and measuring the ROI metrics appropriate to achieve that strategy. By following these steps, companies can turn the possibility of AI into profitability and gain a competitive edge in the market.

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