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The Network is Key to the Future of AI

AI is ubiquitous in our daily lives – at work, play, and everywhere else. In fact, it’s so prevalent that we scarcely notice it – think Alexa, Siri, automated text alerts – it’s hard to go anywhere without encountering some kind of automated process.

If we consider the enterprise, the possibilities for the role of AI and automation are practically limitless – and the network is the connective tissue that makes it all possible. And taking it a step further, imagine the insights that can be gained from analyzing the data amassed by all these new AI tools.

The Tipping Point for AI in Business

Much has been written about the fact that the pandemic accelerated digital transformation across industries, and increasing our dependence on technology to function was one of the most dramatic and long-term impacts. To stay relevant during lockdowns, enable remote working, and maintain contact with customers, businesses had to invest in AI.

Suddenly, video consults, online learning, and touch-free retail transactions became the norm.

Both the network and AI became more important than ever, and the pandemic became the ideal springboard to accelerate both innovation in and dependency on both technologies. Businesses that invested in these tools early on gained a competitive advantage – but only if they had the infrastructure to properly support these new bandwidth-hungry AI tools and applications.

Making AI Work

Consumers don’t mind waiting for a good thing if they have a good reason, like if they’ve ordered a customized product. But when it comes to more basic purchases, thanks to overnight services like Amazon, consumers expect convenience and immediacy. Some companies have structured their business models around speed, but staffing shortages and supply chain constraints created significant challenges in meeting this customer expectation.

Enter AI – which can be effectively leveraged to streamline workflows, anticipate customer demands and expedite fulfillment.

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In order to achieve the desired ROI on AI applications and tools, the underlying network that supports all these applications has to be ready. You wouldn’t build a house on a crumbling foundation, and the same principle applies in this case. The network is key to ensuring everything works together seamlessly so that businesses can realize the operational improvements that help them save time and money.

AI has made big strides this year alone, but we’re only scratching the surface of its potential. Soon, we’ll see things taken further, with AI running the network itself and making automated improvements across the organization.

Whether it’s remote learning, telehealth services, online ordering or a customer service line, organizations are expected to offer digitally enabled experiences that make life easier for the consumer. Across industries, it’s necessary to offer some kind of technology-based solution, and the need to further expand these offerings has only grown over the past few years.

Having a chatbot on a website is no longer cutting-edge. To stay competitive, organizations need to ensure they’re ready for the next stage of automation, and they’ll need a network that enables them to do so.

Looking Ahead

AI is no longer a novelty, it’s a necessity for businesses that need to move faster, sort through data more quickly and automate tedious tasks that soak up hours of manpower. In the future, entire job descriptions could change, with humans leaving the more basic functions to AI so they can focus on challenges that require more creative thinking.

It’s exciting to consider the potential of future technology, including AI. But its success will always be linked to the underlying network and the insights organizations are able to capture to make data-driven decisions and create more intelligent strategies. Remember not to get too distracted by a new shiny tool. AI can be a highly rewarding investment, as long as the network is prepared to support it to its fullest potential.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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