How Businesses are Leveraging AI for their Strategic Advantage: 9 Key Takeaways from ProserveIT and Microsoft’s Executive Briefing Sessions 

Every day, businesses are increasingly integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools into their operations. The move towards AI is not about replacing human jobs but augmenting productivity and gaining a competitive edge. ProserveIT and Microsoft are hosting a briefing series on what business leaders need to be thinking about when getting started with AI tools in their business.

Here’s a run-down of key considerations for business leaders starting with AI: 

1. Adoption Status: Many businesses are still in the early stages of AI adoption so if you haven’t started your digital transformation journey yet, you are not alone. The most effective use of AI is when it can analyze and learn from the data generated by your own systems. 

2. AI and Jobs: AI is designed to complement human expertise, not replace it. Its goal is to enhance efficiency and productivity. 

3. Data Utilization: AI’s potential can only be unlocked if it has access to your business’s data. It is crucial to search, find, and organize your data. In some cases, it might even be necessary to capture new data from your business so think strategically about what data might be missing from your business’s story.  

4. Risk Management: Data governance is a built-in feature of many AI systems, including MS Copilot which helps mitigate risk. For companies looking for an AI solution, a Copilot can be a great place to start to navigate the initial complexities and help minimize risk exposure. 

5. Digital Transformation: The first step is digitizing and standardizing processes. This transformation allows AI and Large Language Models (LLMs) to structure unstructured data, making it actionable. 

6. The Visibility Factor: AI tools need visibility into your data to be effective. Without data access, these tools can’t provide insights or support decision-making. It’s important to think about the data sources your AI tools will need access to.  

7. Practical Implementation: For instance, in the steel industry, integrating IoT sensors into production lines for data collection helped generate valuable new data to enhance productivity and uncover new opportunities. 

8. The Risk of Non-Adoption: Simply adopting AI in your business processes isn’t likely to give you a huge competitive advantage because your competitors are likely adopting it as well. However, not adopting AI can be a risk in itself, as it may leave your business behind in efficiency and innovation. 

9. Competitive Differentiation: The ability to disrupt and differentiate will hinge on how you capture, manage and utilize your data. AI offers powerful tools to leverage this data for strategic decisions. 

AI presents an invaluable opportunity for business leaders willing to embrace new technologies. Its adoption should be viewed as a journey to enhance capabilities, not a destination. As you begin integrating AI into your business, focus on building a robust data infrastructure, fostering a culture of innovation, and keeping your strategy dynamic to stay ahead of the curve. 

So where do you go next? 

Did you know, MacKay members can unlock exclusive pricing for their organizations at both ProserveIT and SFU Beedie School of Business. Reach out to Edmond Luk for the details.