Artificial Intelligence deepens customer, business relationship – Survey
The Accenture Tech Vision 2018 has revealed that businesses adopting artificial intelligence (AI) are more likely to experience rapid growth as a result of a deeper relationship built with customers through AI.
After surveying individuals from public and private sectors, academia, venture capital firms and entrepreneurial companies, as well as interviewing various technology luminaries and industry experts, the recently released report shows that rapid advances in artificial intelligence and other technologies are accelerating the creation of intelligent enterprises and enabling companies to integrate themselves into people’s lives. This is likely to disrupt business over the next three years.
However, capitalising on growth opportunities while also having a positive impact on society requires a new era of leadership that prioritises trust and greater responsibility.
The 2018 report, ‘Intelligent Enterprise Unleashed: Redefine your company based on the company you keep,’ highlights how rapid advancements in technologies — including artificial intelligence (AI), advanced analytics and the cloud — are enabling companies to not just create innovative products and services, but change the way people work and live. This, in turn, is changing companies’ relationships with their customers, employees and business partners.
Out of the more than 6,300 business and IT executives surveyed worldwide, more than four in five respondents (84 percent) agree that through technology, companies are weaving themselves seamlessly into the fabric of how people live today.
For example, Google through its many applications and analytics capabilities has integrated itself into people’s everyday lives thereby influencing their way of life. Google maps are used for journey management, references and suggestions on places, products and services of interest and through this, Google can shape people’s consumption behaviours. Also, feedback from users can influence uptake of suggestions from Google by other people.
‘Technology is now firmly embedded throughout our everyday lives and is reshaping large parts of society,’ said Niyi Tayo, Accenture Nigeria’s Managing Director Technology during the presentation of the report to the media in Lagos.
‘Just as cities developed around ports and then railroads, or people rebuilt their lives around electricity, the world today is reimagining itself around digital innovation — and, by extension, the companies that provide those services. This requires a new type of relationship, built on trust and the sharing of large amounts of personal information in a secure manner.’
The report notes that this latest technological transformation is unique in that for the first time the change is a two-way street; people aren’t just using companies’ products and services, but feeding information and access back to them. This level of ‘integrated innovation’ and degree of trust requires a deeper relationship — a true partnership based not only on a company’s products, but also its goals and values. And with this two-way partnership come new responsibilities — to consumers, business partners and society at large — requiring leadership and commitment from the top.
Savvy organisations understand that these new societal expectations can be transformed into an enterprise strength. They are using their increased interactions to build partnerships with customers, employees, government and the public. This extends beyond the consumer or retail arena.
Siemens, by offering its operating system for internet of things – MindSphere; that can be used for various types of assets such as manufacturing devices, oil and gas equipment and installations, is creating new partnerships and embedding itself into its business partners’ architectures.
According to Niyi Tayo, Nigerian banks and telecommunication companies are also taking the first steps towards AI to improve customer service by implementing chatbots. They are beginning to use advanced analytics to provide next best product offers to increase product uptake and fraud analytics to manage risks.
The Technology Vision identifies five emerging technology trends that companies must address if they are to build the partnerships needed to succeed in today’s digital economy:
– Citizen AI: Raising AI to benefit business and society. As artificial intelligence (AI) grows in its capabilities, so does its impact on people’s lives. Businesses looking to capitalise on AI’s potential must acknowledge this impact, “raising” AI to act as responsible representatives of their business.
– Extended Reality: The end of distance. Virtual and augmented reality technologies are transforming the ways people live and work by removing the distance to people, information and experiences.
– Data Veracity: The importance of trust. By transforming themselves to run on data, businesses now face a new kind of vulnerability: inaccurate, manipulated and biased data that leads to corrupted business insights and skewed decisions. To address this challenge, companies must follow a dual mandate to maximise veracity and minimise incentives for data manipulation.
– Frictionless Business: Built to partner at scale. Businesses depend on technology-based partnerships for growth, but their own legacy systems aren’t designed to support partnerships at scale. To fully power the connected intelligent enterprise, companies must first re-design themselves.
– Internet of Thinking: Creating intelligent distributed systems. Businesses are making big bets on intelligent environments via robotics, AI and immersive experiences, but bringing these intelligent environments to life will require not only adding key skills and workforce capabilities, but also modernising current enterprise technology infrastructures.
‘Through these new partnerships with customers, employees and business collaborators, companies are building greater trust and further integrating themselves into society, becoming more indispensable and fuelling their own growth,’ Tayo said.
For nearly 18 years, Accenture has taken a systematic look across the enterprise landscape to identify emerging technology trends that hold the greatest potential to disrupt businesses and industries.
Jumoke Akiyode Lawanson
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