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Why AI Matters to Your Business in 2021

The world has experienced three industrial revolutions: first there was steam and water power, then electricity, followed by computing. We are now in the middle of a fourth industrial revolution, one driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and big data.

What makes AI so important

AI - a complex combination of physical sciences, computer science, math, and methodologies - gives machines the ability to interpret the environment they are in, digest and learn from information, make decisions against these learnings, and then take action. And quite often this can all happen without human intervention. These machines could be computers, robots, drones, or anything.

It is AI’s ability to take data and actually learn from it, and then adjust itself accordingly, that is so important.

What this means for your business

Businesses are going to have to get smarter. And fast. Businesses in every vertical and of every size will be impacted by this revolution. Here’s why.

AI technology is also capable of doing what the average person does at work. However, AI-driven machines do not take breaks or holidays like people do. They don’t get bored or distracted, neither do they become tired or negligent. They simply carry out what they were instructed to do. It is clear to see why this is good for businesses.

In fact, in the healthcare industry alone, over 80 percent of healthcare executives surveyed by Accenture recently stated that they believe AI is on track to completely revolutionize healthcare as they know it. A similar number believe that the introduction of machine learning (ML) and the digitization of healthcare is driving a significant restructuring of industry economics.

The report carries on to state: “AI is the new UI. It’s a new world where artificial intelligence is moving beyond a back-end tool for the healthcare enterprise to the forefront of the consumer and clinician experience. AI is taking on more sophisticated roles, with the potential to make every technology interface both simple and smart – setting a high bar for how future interactions work.”

The market is ready. In a recent survey carried out by the European Union, more than half of European citizens cite a desire to have online access to their medical records. And their sentiment towards robots and AI is positive (61 percent).

In order to remain competitive in an ever-evolving, competitive global economy, businesses will need to integrate AI functionality at a greater pace. The EU poll showed that the marketplace’s sentiment is very positive towards this: 75 percent of respondents believe recent digital technologies are good for the economy, 67 percent say it has improved their quality of life, and 64 percent think it has positively impacted on society.

However, in a recent survey of 230 business and technology executives, a mere 26 percent of respondents say they use automation to carry out repetitive tasks. That number is shockingly low considering the easy access to high quality AI technologies on the market.

Here are four ways AI technology can impact your business in 2021

1. Smarter market intelligence

The beauty of AI is its ability to wade through millions of pages of useless internet noise to find choice pieces of intelligence. SEDGE is an AI platform that can be "trained" to learn what is relevant to businesses and what is not, and can scour vast amounts of data 24 hours a day. AI is incredibly adept at finding the right information quickly and efficiently, so that business leaders have the information they need to make better decisions, for greater competitive advantage.

2. Network management

Virtual assistants like Microsoft’s Cortana or Apple’s Siri help people at home and at work to do tasks faster and more efficiently. From remembering calendar appointments, to prompting email follow ups, or making productivity suggestions, AI is adding value in everyday tasks.

Additionally, more organizations are turning to AI in their efforts to protect their data and networks. With the rise of cybercrime, ransomware, viruses and hacks, AI is proving invaluable to IT executives and data analysts in spotting unusual behavior in digital environments, and acting accordingly.

3. Financial and operational management

Accurate forecasting and budgeting is a key part of effective financial management. Predictive analytics reviews historical data, identifies patterns, and then calculates how likely it is for these events to happen again, and when they will happen again.

AI tools that provide predictive analytics give business leaders ample time to prepare for what may come. This impacts on virtually every business area such as production output, sales conversions, inventory levels, marketing activities, resource allocation, and more. This gives business leaders the ability to stay one step ahead of their competitors, avoid risk, and take advantage of potential opportunities.

4. Sales and service

Online platforms are already making good use of AI to bolster sales and will continue to do so in greater measure in 2021. Think of any ecommerce or digital retailer’s ability to accurately suggest what else the consumer might wish to buy, or watch or listen to. These are AI-led suggestions based on each person’s previous behavior.

Chatbots are also part of the sales department’s arsenal, and help complete the sales journey by answering questions and overcoming concerns autonomously. Chatbots are also effective as part of the customer service team, easing query congestion and taking on a greater role as first-line solution providers.

Businesses that fail to embrace AI could miss out on opportunities and streamlined operations. Companies who do integrate AI technologies into their organizations in 2021 will enjoy the increased efficiencies and exponential value that come with artificial intelligence

Deploy AI into Your Organization Today

SEDGE is cloud-based AI technology that brings amazing clarity and insights from your data. Now you can make data-led decisions for your sales and marketing, product development, manufacturing, logistics, finances, and operations, with confidence.

Don’t be left behind in the race. Especially when access to leading AI technology is so easily available and astonishingly simple to use.

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