There is a specter haunting the world of business, and thankfully, it is a popular one. Artificial intelligence (AI) arose as a pure expression of an age-long human tendency to create our own lives and affairs as simple as possible with the help of technology. Make no mistake, by the steam machine to quantum computing, there's a clear trajectory at work here.
Is AI Pessimism For Real?
Adopting AI into the forefront is not merely the speculative domain of business folks, but of scientists, anthropologists and artists also. All of them appear to attach one of two classes: pessimistic skeptics, who see AI ushering us into a full-blown dystopia, or those who view it as a liberating, game-changing technology.
At first sight, you might be tempted to classify small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as AI skeptics, but is their posture really legitimate? There are two common sense reasons for this type of mindset.
SMEs Require Surity
To start with, SMEs have been less enthusiastic about new technologies. Should they rush with the adoption of AI and it eventually proves to fall short of the expectations, then they can barely compensate for the moment, resources and know-how spent. Unlike larger small business entities, which may absorb this shock better in line with the scalability of their available resources, SMEs don't have anything to drop on if such a funding investment fizzles out. In this sense, even startups have greater cards when it comes to the adoption of AI, because they may be, by their own nature, better ready for eventual failure.
At precisely the same time, this threat for SMEs is only exacerbated by the fact that many folks in control of them are still fighting with grasping exactly what the incoming AI wave can do to help their business, or else they choose to even ignore it until it comes crashing down on their minds. Yet, there's no reason for this strategy, as a business of any size and scale can profit from AI.
Recognizing that, it all takes for pragmatic and technical leaders at SMEs is to show a bit more openness to experiment not just with AI, however, with mobile, virtual and augmented technologies. This is particularly true of businesses in construction, manufacturing, retail and contracting industries that still lag behind other adopters concerning using AI to manage their workforce more efficiently.
AI Can Boost SMEs
The first thing that you can do to help your workers will be to leverage AI's capability to process huge quantities of data in a blink of an eye. This information may include anything from files, paperwork and meeting minutes into literal mountains of emails, archived messages, and memos.
By cutting down on time employees spend pursuing documents in search of the ideal info, AI can help any SME gain more comprehensive insights into any process and, consequently, arrive at better-informed small business decisions.
Being fast, but not too fast so as to be reckless, is important in a different area where AI can help SMEs reap the advantages of faster technological revolution. That is the area of customer support, which presents progressively demanding customers who want this to be equally perfect and easily available 24/7. Can we say"personalized" as well?
AI enables SMEs to integrate customer services at a little price. It may make use of its lightning speed information processing capability to examine all available information on any customer and automate answers based on this, thereby reducing the burden on the personnel in charge. Besides this, it may ultimately permit these businesses to cut back on operational expenses, dependent on its ability to sort out messages and tickets and forward them to the correct departments that can cope with them say human resources or IT. In this manner, the desired number of individual staff members can be reduced without hurting the amount of service offered to clients in the slightest.
There is yet another area in which AI promises to take business practices of SMEs to a whole new level. This has to do with this ensuring that an uninterrupted workflow that easily translates into better efficiency and company success. According to an interview with Gloria Mark, a section of informatics professor in the University of California, Irvine, that was printed by Fast Company, her research has found that every interruption can set back a worker for as much as 20 minutes. Contemplating that employees are interrupted every couple of minutes, typically, it will become clear how this apparently benign occurrence could eat away at your productivity and efficiency levels.
Some of the big culprits here are the communication demands of each modern-day workplace, with workers being literally flooded with messages displayed in their apps, chat rooms, deadline emails, and reminders. Lately, this has expanded to include video as a modern-day equal of a boss tapping you in your shoulder. AI will help these employees significantly reduce the time that they should switch between different communication systems and the tasks that they should attend to. With its help, they'll be much better equipped to prioritize, acquire and share information and decrease time wasted on distractions.
Small and medium-size businesses have so far lagged behind the big company in the adoption and promotion of AI, choosing to play it safe and see exactly what occurs when the dust settles. Yet, this mindset is based on misconceptions about the availability and usefulness of AI, with benefits ranging from permitting for onsite decision-making to generating highly personalized client service with decreased operational costs. At the same moment, AI also offers SMEs the opportunity to generate a highly focused and effective workforce, dependent on its capacity to minimize communicative disruptions and acquire and process data at unprecedented levels of speed.