Many companies are creating the first wave of digital transformation, increasing reach and customization, improving processes, and boosting productivity, while also beginning to incorporate big data into workflows. Now, executives are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) adoption to fight for digital supremacy against competitors, with high aspirations for its success even in the most traditional of industries, according to a Tuesday report from Boston Consulting Group.
In this next wave, organizations want to shift from digital iteration to innovation, using AI to develop new offerings and change business models, the report found. The report interviewed more than 20 executives at companies with major digital programs underway to determine where businesses stand when it comes to AI implementation.
1. CEO support is necessary, but insufficient
Digital transformation projects require full CEO support for success over the long term. However, they also require support from the executives who control budgets, personnel decisions, and day-to-day priorities and resources, the report noted. Support from these executives can be the difference between success and failure in these initiatives.
2. IT applications come before infrastructure
Digital transformation can’t succeed without an IT and data overhaul, according to the report. Even if organizations have not perfected their advanced IT architecture, they should still begin building applications and services to see at least some of the benefits early on, even if implementation is not elegant. Taking this approach can provide focus and momentum, and avoid drawn-out and disappointing system rollouts, the report noted.
3. Digital efforts take talent, technical skills, and culture
Digitally transforming companies are working hard on people issues, ranging from developing technical skills to forming new partnerships that access talent, the report found. However, many organizations still find it difficult to find the right talent like developers and data scientists to support their digital ambitions. Creating a culture that embraces change is another major challenge, and companies are focusing on fostering collaboration between IT and the business to do so, the report found. Many are turning to Agile methods in their culture change efforts to improve speed and flexibility, it noted.
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