When most people hear the term “AI,” they automatically think of robots and science fiction movies like Iron Man. While it’s true that AI plays a significant role in robotics and powers Iron Man’s suit, AI has immense implications for business as well – even for non-tech industries. AI began in the late 1950s when individuals and companies aimed to create machines that could think and act like humans. Since then, AI has gained global importance, and many industry leaders are already using AI-powered machines to optimize their operations. However, several small and medium-sized businesses remain sceptical of AI’s benefits, restricting its use primarily to tech-related industries.
As a seasoned project manager who has facilitated several companies’ digital transformation, I understand the reluctance of businesses to adopt AI. Making a substantial change to the business operation can be challenging, and several people are inherently resistant to change. However, AI is already prevalent in our daily lives, from search engines to digital assistants like Siri and Alexa. Even if non-tech businesses don’t realize it, they are already living in an AI-controlled world, and AI will become a standard feature in commerce sooner than later.
AI has fundamentally changed business practices globally. Several businesses use AI to cut time and costs related to repetitive tasks, while many market leaders use AI to manage data and improve customer support. Even small startups use AI to analyze consumer data and establish buying patterns. AI provides vital support to human resources by simplifying complicated tasks, helping businesses optimize their operations, improve customer satisfaction, and increase their competitiveness. The power of AI can completely transform operations, providing an edge over competitors.
Non-tech companies can equally benefit from AI by automating tasks that rely heavily on human intervention. Companies can use AI to analyze consumer data, gain insight into consumers’ behavior, and predict their buying decisions, helping companies develop products and services tailored to customers’ needs. Retailers can adjust product prices in real-time through predictive model applications, and manufacturers can automate their processes, reducing errors and costs. AI-powered content tools can produce quality blogs, social media captions, and ad copy in less time, helping non-tech businesses compete with tech giants.
Levi Strauss, John Deere, Volvo, and Sephora are some non-tech businesses already using AI to improve their operations. AI doesn’t necessarily mean replacing humans with machines; humans and AI complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses through collaborative intelligence, making processes more efficient and effective. According to one Harvard Business Review study, companies using AI to augment their human resources achieved greater long-term performance improvements than those using AI to displace human employees. Therefore, incorporating AI into operations doesn’t imply getting rid of your employees.