AI – is it right for your business?

Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) has the ability to, and in some cases already has, revolutionalise the retail sector. But is AI right for your organisation, or could similar benefits be achieved via refreshing your existing processes? Guidance released earlier this year (April 2019) from the National Cyber Security Centre (“NSCS”) provides a valuable opportunity for businesses to reflect on whether, and how, a business should adopt or deploy AI.

In a study released earlier this year, IBM identified six key applications for AI in retail, being:
• supply chain planning
• demand forecasting
• customer intelligence
• marketing, advertising and campaign management
• store operations
• pricing and promotion

With such ‘across the board’ application in the retail and consumer markets industries, it is of little surprise that IBM found over 80% of executives in the retail and consumer products markets think intelligent automation will be utilised by their companies by 2021, and around 40% confirmed they already use some type of intelligent automation. We explore these topics in our recent report on the key themes and challenges for retailers in respect of the adoption and use of AI, available here.

Often hailed as transformative, AI has, when properly implemented, the ability to improve and enable organisations to achieve their goals. But how do businesses decide if, and what, AI is right for them?

The NSCS guidance sets out in plain English the key factors to consider before introducing intelligent automation, and how to monitor performance going forward. From how to compare available tools and technologies, to understanding what inputs will be required to achieve the desired output, investing time into weighing the ramifications of new technologies against the benefits may save a business time and effort in the longer term.

In our LawNow article, we summarise the key issues from the NSCS’ guidance and suggest that, in certain circumstances, AI may not be worth the risks and/or the costs. We suggest that businesses carefully consider whether business’ needs can, and should, be met by augmenting current processes and procedures, before introducing intelligent technology. Equally, it is important to not be too quick to dismiss AI on account of the time and financial investment required to properly implement intelligent tools, as it could provide the springboard for the next stage of an organisation’s growth.

Read more here.

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