Ready for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence? 2018 is the Year of “Press Pause”

This post was originally written by ComBlu’s Kathy Baughman and featured on Oracle’s blog, Smarter CX.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence will take over mundane tasks across the enterprise, freeing people up for more strategic activities. In preparation, more organizations will “press pause” to ascertain their readiness across three dimensions: processes, systems, and talent. All need to be optimized to ensure ROI.

Processes: Outdated processes or ad hoc approaches prevent a customer-first view that allows delivery of highly customized, contextual experiences regardless of channel or touchpoint. Multiple studies from organizations like CiscoMercer, and Deloitte indicate that this is the year companies plan to revisit how they collaborate across functions and teams. In addition, companies will adopt better governance to provide more freedom to create differentiating experiences while at the same time providing guard rails to assure consistent messaging and branding.

Systems: New processes may require jettisoning or augmenting systems and tools. Many platforms already incorporate basic AI that supports marketing automation, account-based marketing, predictive analytics, CRM and customer experience. A recent Demand Gen survey indicated that 70% of respondents feel that AI-powered apps will improve/accelerate ability to offer up next best action along the full customer lifecycle. Yet only 14% currently use AI-powered tools. 38% are actively considering how to integrate AI apps into their tech stack. As they do, companies will press pause to consider how to optimize current tools or add functionality or determine if it makes sense to start anew.

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