Most small businesses will not want to be the first to adopt new technology. It’s often wiser to wait and see if it will become mainstream. But there’s a big risk that you are falling behind the times, which will make your company dated compared to your competitors. Could this be the right time to get serious about artificial intelligence – or otherwise risk your company’s relevance? If a business falls behind the technology, competitors who have implemented it will gain a significant advantage.
Keep in mind, though, that adopting AI is not as simple as just creating a chatbot or starting to use natural language processing. There are many factors executives need to consider when deciding if it is time to start using AI. It’s important to remember one thing, though – AI tends to improve over time, so there’s basically no reason not to start right now. At least you will learn from experience.
While some businesses are rapidly adopting artificial intelligence, many of them are still waiting for the technology to be more capable and become more available. They are planning to become “fast followers,” which is a strategy that has worked with many information technologies so far.
But this time it might be a bad idea. Although some technologies still need more development, some of them are mature enough and have been available in one way or another for decades. New research is coming up all the time, but the mathematical and statistical foundations remain the same.
There are a few other problems with the idea that companies will be able to adapt quickly once technologies are more mature. First, you will need time to develop AI systems. Time is also required to adjust them to your specific business and knowledge. It will, then, take time to implement AI systems completely, and there can be very few if any shortcuts to these steps.
Finally, there is also the human factor. Don’t worry; an army of robots is not going to come in and replace all your coworkers! AI systems are actually not fully autonomous but are more focused on helping human workers. New AI systems usually include new roles and skills for the employees, and it will generally require significant time to retrain them.
By the time you have done all the necessary preparations, earlier adopters will have already taken a significant market share —since they’ll be able to operate at considerably lower costs and with better and faster performance. All in all, they may take all, and you may never be able to catch up.
It’s evident that if you want to implement AI successfully and think there may already be an existing threat from competitors or new entrants on the market, you should start learning how to adapt AI to your business across multiple applications and methods. Meaning, you should begin now if you haven’t already, and pray that it’s not too late.
If you need any help implementing these changes fast, feel free to contact us!