Innovations in Data Management and AI
There has never been a more disruptive time in business. The events of the past two years have forced business leaders from all industries to embrace digital transformation. For many, this means the reinvention of operations, restructuring products and services, and rethinking the way organizations create value in the market.
One way to do that is to take advantage of digital transformation in ways that move the needle of organizational performance. That was the subject of a recent podcast interview on the Xait Factor with John Ingve Eielsen, Xait's Chief Technology and Product Officer. John says that in the future the businesses that win will be the ones that use tools like AI and Machine Learning to improve data management and successfully leverage the data they already have on hand.
“There is a lot of organizational memory stored in your customer database,” says John. “Can we use that for something? Yes, we can! For example, all organizations will have a turnover of people, and that means that the inherent knowledge inside of the business will disappear over time and things will be forgotten. But tools like XaitPorter can use the machine to bring that organizational memory back. So, if you are working on a tender for an important deal, it can find a similar tender that you won, even if it was years ago, and give you recommendations on how to fill out this new tender simply based on what the win themes were for the previous one.”
John is not the only executive that is excited about the confluence of advanced data management and AI/ML. The confluence has dramatic implications for organizations in all industries and top executives across the globe are taking action to transform. Gartner predicts that spending on digital transformation will hit $3.9 trillion this year and competitive advantage is the catalyst for digital transformation in just about every major industry. The top priorities are artificial intelligence, data management, and the cloud. Organizations in the areas of manufacturing, energy, and life sciences, are all spending heavily.
It's one thing to have advanced capabilities in data management and AI, but according to John, finding real success all comes down to how well people can interact with the systems. “Modern interfaces are key. Look to systems that adapt to the user and make it possible for important process improvements and innovation. This is important because people have a hard time trusting AI. They have a hard time trusting machines. But using a modern interface with AI you can adjust the UI depending on what each person is doing; it guides you through the process. These tools have workflows more or less implemented in the UI itself so that the UI molds itself to your needs.”
Despite the innovations and possibilities, research tells us that success for digital transformation initiatives often comes down to the connection between the technologies and the data. According to AIIM International, over 26% of organizations say a “lack of a true strategy for managing information assets” is their top obstacle to digital transformation. Now more than ever, organizations need to embrace disruption as a springboard for competitive advantage and adopt new ways of working that invigorate organizational performance.
How can organizations overcome the obstacles to digital transformation? “I think a lot of people create far too complicated projects,” says John. “If you have an AI project it should be about using AI to better your processes. It's not about developing the best AI in the world; you're not going to beat Google or Apple at that. So time and time again you see important projects going over budget and/or failing. My advice is always to make sure you take it in smaller chunks. Eat the elephant one bite at a time. Try and get something done within the first three months.”
As we look to 2023, the time has come to consider how the synergy between digital transformation and data management can impact your organization and its performance. Consider strategies to re-envision the way that you use data and technology to deliver value to customers and improvements to the way you do business. According to John, it will take creative leadership, the courage to try something new, and thoughtful technology and information management strategies to make it work.
“Make sure you understand and strategize for AI and ML,” says John. “Understand the connection to your data and how to take advantage of it. If not, your competitors will and they will leave you behind.”
Kevin Craine is a writer, technology analyst, and an award-winning podcast producer. He is the host of "The Xait Factor" podcast and has listeners and readers worldwide. He was named the #1 Enterprise Content Management Influencer to follow on Twitter.