Microsoft report

For AI this year seems to have had the biggest push so far to get businesses on board and set out plans to consider including it in their day-to-day activities.

Whether it’s freeing employees of repetitive admin so they can work on the things that matter, or finding ways for organisations to work more sustainably, implementing AI is still big news. With initiatives such as Microsoft’s “AI for Good” and “AI for Earth”, there is a growing wave of marketing highlighting all the incredible good that implementing AI can do for your business.

Featuring heavily at the Microsoft event Future Decoded and the Microsoft Partners EMEA Directions, both in October, to become a forerunner in your industry, Microsoft want you to know AI must be on your agenda. Even the name of their recent report, “Accelerating competitive advantage with AI”, drills home the point that implementing AI will help your company thrive while also giving something back to your community, and the planet.

AI and business today

Artificial intelligence, according to Microsoft UK CEO, Cindy Rose, is the engine for the fourth industrial revolution. And with stats from a PWC report stating the global AI market is expected to be worth up to $15.7 trillion by 2030, it really is time to not just think about AI if you’re not already doing so, but to implement AI too.

If you haven’t seen or read the PWC report yet, we highly recommend you do so. It makes for really interesting reading. You can find a summary here if you don’t want to read the full report.

What AI could mean you

Without stating the obvious, and in broad terms, AI is an umbrella term for a range of computer systems that work and act like humans, and can think, learn, and take action in response to their objectives.

Forms of AI in use today include digital assistants, chat bots and machine learning. But there is also automated intelligence, assisted intelligence, augmented intelligence and autonomous intelligence.

This is where ALL industries are headed. A key finding in Microsoft’s report showed “44% of leaders recognise AI is a skill that will help secure their future prospects.” And over a quarter believe the UK has the structures in place to become an AI world leader.

However, their study also finds that organisations already using AI at scale, are performing 11.5% better than those who aren’t. This figure has increased from just 5% a year ago!

If you needed further convincing of the importance of implementing AI, this sentiment is backed by the autumn issue of The Record.

In a feature by Lindsay James, Lindsay interviews legal evangelist at Icertis, Bernadette Bulacan about moving contracts to the cloud and the value of this.

Here Bernadette says “AI will make contract negotiations 30% more efficient by 2023.”

She goes on to say this process will be made seamless and efficient through Microsoft Dynamics 365, as a sales person will be able to create a contract that’s 100% compliant with internal controls without ever needing to leave the interface. Bernadette says, “What’s special about AI is that it allows companies to treat the dense legalese in contracts just like any other data, which totally changes what’s possible.”

Getting organised

With many organisations already understanding the importance of implementing AI, and having done so over the last 12 months, for those tentatively dipping their toes in, or those looking to start a new project, now is the time to be bold and make the leap to AI.

Gartner research on the topic this summer (2019), found the average number of AI projects in place for respondents is currently four, but six more are expected to be added over the next 12 months – with a further 15 in the next 15 years.

Therefore, not wanting to be left behind, as the gap between more advanced companies widens, Jim Hare, research vice president at Gartner says, “The rising number of AI projects means that organizations may need to reorganize internally to make sure that AI projects are properly staffed and funded. It is a best practice to establish an AI Centre of Excellence to distribute skills, obtain funding, set priorities and share best practices in the best possible way.”

Implementing AI with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

On a “mission to empower organisations” Microsoft’s Cindy Rose wants to build on the positive steps and achievements businesses have taken and help them achieve more. She wants to help move “small scale AI experimentation to large scare AI implementation in a way that drives value for their business, their employees, their customers and the UK as a whole.”

The last Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central update, does just that. Wave 2 launched on the 1st October offers a Virtual Agent (an AI powered chat bot) to improve customer service, Customer, Market and Product Insights to gather actionable data, and Mixed Reality capabilities. Moving to the latest version of Business Central could help you on your way to becoming AI enabled.

This begs the question, what plans does your business have to implement AI now or in the near future?

Giving the last line to PWC, “as humans and machines collaborate more closely, and AI innovations come out of the research lab and into the mainstream, the transformational possibilities are staggering.”

To find out what transformational possibilities are out there for you, please get in touch with one of our experienced team here at TVision for more information.