Why 2019 will be AI’s biggest year yet

January 2, 2019 Usman Shuja

2019 will be the biggest year for AI yet from a market perspective. Executives I have spoken to understand change is inevitable in this new year, and they must embrace AI to stay relevant. More companies are moving AI from innovation phase to implementation—this is the year where AI will work its way into the fabric of organizations with proven deployments impacting real time operations for business.

47% of IT executives are increasing AI/ML budget allocation in 2019 -IDG

After helping forward-thinking clients with AI deployments, I’ve found that while an understanding of tech and its potential and resources are important, thoughtful change management is key to ensuring the technology delivers value. Here are some common factors in successful transitions:

Drive from the top
Don’t get stuck in pilot purgatory—the technology has been proven. Leadership must take an active role in supporting the project to gain trust, which means having a clear vision for the project, attending meetings, and when necessary, holding feet to the fire. Without engaged leadership, the project will languish and the true value of the AI system will remain unrealized.

Have a game plan for detractors
Experts using the technology every day must see the value of it, or the systems won’t get used properly. Use empathetic leadership and make the implementation collaborative to ensure concerns are addressed and every level of the organization is bought in. (Informal evangelists can also help this process.)

Tell the story of how big you can be
When Apergy formulated a strategy for AI deployment, Chief Digital Officer Ali Raza made sure every member of his team understood the impact for the customer. Making the results tangible and showing how each person contributes to the overall goal increases employee investment in success.

Now that executives understand the capabilities of AI projects and how to implement them, I’m excited to be at a company on the forefront of what comes next. I look forward to working with you to make AI a reality in 2019.

To read our previous newsletter on how AI products help companies scale, click here.


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