CIOs can make the most of artificial intelligence by applying it to strategic digital business objectives.

SwissCognitiveArtificial intelligence (AI) can augment or automate decisions and tasks today performed by humans, making it indispensable for digital business transformation . With AI, organizations can reduce labor costs, generate new business models, and improve processes or customer service. However, most AI technologies remain immature.

“To overcome this hurdle, CIOs must ensure that applications intended to serve a strategic business purpose, such as increasing revenue or scaling services, are designed for strategic plans ,” says Jorge Lopez , Distinguished Vice President Analyst, Gartner.

AI generates insights that lead directly to business execution”

Lopez outlines six design principles that will help CIOs and organizations evaluate all proposed AI applications with strategic intent — that is, applications intended to help achieve business results, not just operational improvements. Applications do not have to follow all six principles; however, designs that show two or fewer principles should be reconsidered.

Design principle No. 1: Anticipate the future

In digital business, AI generates insights that lead directly to business execution. A strategic AI application can produce granular insights into what customers, markets or other entities are likely to do in specific future situations and what the enterprise can do to influence them. The more trustworthy the insights, the more enterprises will rely on them to guide future execution systems.

Design principle No. 2: Act autonomously

AI applications provide value by automating existing manual processes, but can also go a step further by enabling autonomous operation of the business. A strategic AI application that acts autonomously can operate without human direction, producing significant productivity gains as it augments the work done by humans and frees them for more personalized tasks.

When designing AI applications for autonomous operations, ensure the AI applications are located as close as possible to the work being done, have near-real-time understanding of what’s going on and have the intelligence to make decisions on the spot.

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Design principle No. 3: Connect to the customer

Digital businesses thrive on knowledge of markets and customers. To support digital business initiatives, AI applications must get as close to customers as possible. CIOs should take cues from digital giants that use their popular technologies powered by AI to get between companies and their customers.

For example, consumers often use Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri to access the capabilities of platforms from other companies. As a result, Amazon and Apple can gather better data about customers than the companies that provide the service. Similarly, CIOs should think about strategic AI applications that enable their organization to capture critical information to help build more intimate customer relationships overtime.[…]

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