The mind boggles when you really start to consider the possibilities with AI and Automation; especially when you consider what day-to-day life might look like in a decade’s time. One thing is for sure, the way we live and work will be very different and we’ve already started to see several substantial advancements in the last 18 months alone. 

Whilst you might imagine yourself in a Bourne Ultimatum movie, the truth is that it may not be as much of a pipe dream as you may have once thought. With the pace of change in this space, businesses of all sizes now have access to game changing AI and Automation tools that once seemed impossible. Read on or hop ahead to any section to learn more about the state of AI nowadays and how to take advantage of its opportunities: 

The Importance of Artificial Intelligence for Businesses

AI is defined as the ability of machines to do tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as reasoning, learning, decision making, and problem solving. A set of AI methods and tools can often help a business to gain a competitive edge, improve efficiency, enhance customer experience, and drive innovation. 

AI accelerated in recent years due to the gains in computing power, data availability, and algorithm development. There are now more than 544 AI companies in the country and AI-related jobs keep growing everyday. Seven in ten Australian organisations are already using AI, and we see this number grow monumentally with the release of Microsoft Copilot for businesses of all sizes

A study by PwC predicts that AI could contribute up to 15.7 trillion US dollars to the global economy by 2030 – greater than the total current output of China and India.  

Opportunities for AI in Various Sectors

Your organisation can apply AI to almost any business function, process, or challenge, such as: 

  • Marketing & Sales 
  • Operations & Supply Chain 
  • Finance & Accounting 
  • Human Resources & Talent Management 
  • Customer Service & Support 

Let’s have a look at what this means for some of the industries we work with:  

Industry Can Use AI & Copilot to… 
Not-For-Profits Analyse donor data to identify patterns and preferences Predict donor behaviour, and optimise fundraising strategies Volunteer recruitment and management Impact measurement and evaluation 
Financial Services Assess the creditworthiness of loan applicants Leverage historical data and market trends to forecast future financial performance Risk management and compliance Fraud detection and prevention 
Healthcare Improving diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases Enhancing patient care Reducing errors Decreasing costs Enabling telemedicine, wearable devices, and personalised medicine 
Education Improving learning outcomes, engagement, and accessibility Personalised learning, providing feedback, and assessing progress Adaptive learning Gamification Online education 
Manufacturing Improving productivity, quality, and safety Optimising design, production, and maintenance Smart factories Robotics Additive manufacturing 
Retail Improving customer experience, loyalty, and retention Optimising merchandising, pricing, and promotion Omnichannel retail Recommendation systems Visual search 
Entertainment Improving content creation, distribution, and consumption Enhancing user experience, engagement, and personalisation Interactive media Augmented reality Virtual reality 

Steps to Aligning AI Adoption with Your Business Goals

As many use cases as there are, it’s the organisations that are using AI strategically that are starting to see: 

  • Increased efficiency and productivity 
  • Improved decision making and problem solving 
  • Enhanced customer experience and satisfaction 
  • Increased innovation and competitiveness 

In one of our previous articles we delved into how business leaders can integrate AI into their business strategy. 

However, the simple implementation of artificial intelligence apps alone will not magically solve all your problems. Just like other tools, AI can help you achieve your business goals if it is well thought-through. There are some steps you must follow to ensure your AI project is a success: 

1. Define Your Business Goals 

Clarify what you want to achieve using AI by ticking your top 3 objectives below: 

  • Gain a competitive edge 
  • Enhance decision-making 
  • Improve risk management 
  • Boost efficiency and productivity 
  • Innovate (i.e., new products or services) 
  • Increase sales 
  • Reduce costs 
  • [Your own answer] ______________________________ 

2. Identify Opportunities For Process Improvement 

Identify the use cases where AI could create the most impact in your business. Tick the specific task, process, or challenge you want to improve in each area below. If you choose more than one per area, consider ranking them by importance. (Hint: Choose repetitive tasks or workflows that can be automated.) 

  • General  
    • Project management  
    • Knowledge management 
    • Document management  
    • Scheduling meetings 
    • Email management 
    • Task prioritisation 
    • Creating documents (e.g., reports) 
    • Data analysis 
    • Research 
  • Customer Support 
    • Responding to common customer queries 
    • Handling multiple customer interactions 
    • Classifying support tickets into categories 
    • Personalising recommendations (from customer data and past interaction) 
    • Predicting customer needs via behaviour analysis 
  • Sales  
    • Lead scoring to determine the likelihood of converting a lead into a sale 
    • Sales data entry 
    • Sales forecasting and analytics 
  • Talent Recruitment 
    • Candidate sourcing 
    • Screening of resumes 
    • Interview scheduling 
  • Communications 
    • Preparing emails 
    • Automating email responses 
    • Email filtering and prioritisation  
    • Meeting scheduling 
    • Real-time translation and localisation 
  • Staff Training 
    • Assessing employee skills and knowledge 
    • Personalising individual learning paths 
    • Creating interactive training modules 
  • Marketing 
    • Creating marketing content that can increase engagement 
    • Social media monitoring to get insights and customer sentiments 
    • Email marketing that can improve conversion rates 
    • Optimising content for search engines and for users 
  • Accounting & Finance 
    • Invoice processing efficiency and accuracy 
    • Expense management and fraud detection 
    • Financial forecasting  
    • Budget planning 
    • Financial risk assessment 
  • Cyber Security 
    • Risk assessment 
    • Threat detection 
    • Incident response 
  • Inventory Management 
    • Warehouse management and operations 
    • Product categorisation and management 
    • Reordering products to avoid zero stock level 
  • [Your own answer] ______________________________ 

3. Document Your Existing Processes 

  • Identify the process 
  • Document the start and end points of the process 
  • List the people who play a role in completing the process 
  • Store all of your notes in a safe place – make sure the right accesses are in place and that your data is in the right format for AI 

4. Build Your AI Core Team 

  • Appoint an AI champion or leader to oversee all initiatives 
  • Compose your AI core team with internal staff and possible third-party specialists (e.g. IT providers, industry leaders, legal experts) 

5. Evaluate Your AI Readiness 

Explore with your key people the idea of strategically adopting AI. Discuss what needs to be studied and prepared for it to happen. 

  • CTO or IT provider: 
    • Data quality, consistency, and completeness 
    • Data storage, consolidation, and management 
    • Data privacy, security, and access 
    • Technology infrastructure assessment 
    • Cyber security risks and measures 
  • CHRO:  
    • Potential skills and competencies needed 
    • Requirements for training or recruitment 
    • Building a culture that embraces change and innovation 
  • CFO:  
    • Coming up with a budget for AI adoption 
    • Study best practices in your industry 
    • Feasibility of full AI adoption 
  • Lawyer/Legal Adviser:  
    • Laws and regulations relevant to AI use 
    • Ethical considerations 
  • Board:  
    • Drafting AI use policies 
    • Fairness, privacy, and security in using AI 
    • Ensuring human oversight 

Also, encourage collaboration from the entire organisation by asking all employees to share their ideas, views, and concerns. This can be done per department or for the whole business, via a townhall, consultation meetings, employee interviews, suggestion boxes, and/or via email. 

6. Plan, Implement, Monitor, and Adapt Your AI Strategy 

  • Consult with an IT provider about AI planning, deployment, integration, and management. 
  • Ask about the process of testing, validating, and scaling AI solutions. 
  • Find out how you can measure, track, and evaluate their impact and performance. 
  • Outline your AI adoption plan, with specific procedures and assigned responsibilities. 

AI is a rapidly evolving field. As such, a business must continuously monitor their AI initiatives and adapt to changes. You must stay up-to-date with the latest AI trends, reassess your AI strategy regularly, and foster a culture of learning and innovation. Speaking of AI trends, ONGC has put together an insightful eBook on how to Prepare for the Next Wave of Artificial Intelligence. 

Your Next Move: Are You Ready to Embrace AI? 

In 2030, will your business be leading its industry? Or would you have gotten left behind by those who boldly invested in AI?  

Artificial intelligence for businesses is here to stay. It can transform your operations and enable growth, but only if you seize this opportunity at the right time. 

If you’re curious to learn more about the power of Microsoft Copilot and AI, and understand how Copilot can integrate with your other apps, register to the next free ONGC introduction session

You’ll learn about: 

  • AI in business 
  • Getting to know Microsoft Copilot 
  • A demo of Copilot’s features 
  • A discussion about privacy and integrity in AI 
  • How to get ready for the next wave of AI 
  • Q&A  

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to elevate your business processes.