Every business owner dreams of having a smart business. Today, thanks to Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) this is possible. Here’s how.
By 2025 experts believe we’ll have about 80 billion connected devices in use, enabling the IoT to transform business operation as we know it today. Technology is already having a major impact on how businesses maximize their profits and operate more efficiently thanks to things like AI, VR, and the IoT.
New Technology, New Consideration
The development of AR/VR technologies and robotics is shaping business’ future. These innovative solutions are harnessing IoT’s power to decrease wage bills, end surplus stock, and improve customers’ experiences. This is exciting for some people, but scary for others because the thought of robots making humans redundant is seen as a real and present threat. There are also important ethical considerations that we must think through as we work to protect our society. All of this serves as an important reminder: We need to proceed carefully with the use of AI in our business world.
IBM says that C-suite executives feel a strong need to reinvent their enterprises by digitizing communications and interactions. This is happening as part of a shift in focus from products and services to creating great customer experiences. The IoT is helping companies make this change. In fact, the majority of the C-suite executives who participated in this survey said they’re deploying IoT solutions at some level – 66% are at some point of piloting, implementing or using these capabilities already. Many high-performers (about 19% of the more than 3,000 C-suite executives surveyed) want to further extend the potential of IoT within their business operations so they can reap more of the benefits associated with augmenting IoT with AI.
Reinventors (those who excel at using customer data and analyzing competitors to innovate their products and services) are another group who understand that adding AI will help them leverage the IoT’s full potential. As such, they’re busy scrutinizing any available information so they can understand their customers’ needs and desires. They’re also analyzing their competition’s responses to customer demands so they can re-engineer and fine-tune their customer responses. This is helping them move from capturing data to using it to their advantage.
Improve Customer Satisfaction
Forbes says the IoT combined with AI hold great promise in helping us better engage and satisfy customers. However, this is heavily dependent on our ability to process and act on the information in a meaningful way. This is important because, in a few years, 89% of businesses will compete based on Voice AI customer experience alone. Fortunately, businesses have many great tools to help them quickly create and maintain the types of relationships their customers want. Here are a few ways you can do this for your company:
• Welcome big data and use it to satisfy your customers – there’s no reason not to. Now you can stop guessing what your customers want, and phase out anything that proves ineffective (e.g. product features, marketing campaigns, instructions, products). This can make a major difference in your brand’s success without your employees exerting as much time or energy in gathering this information. Now they can focus on making your company run better instead of worrying if it’s working at all.
• There’s no need to feel overwhelmed by data anymore. While big data is growing even bigger, automation is playing a major role in businesses’ customer service strategy. When this is done correctly, it helps them sort, process, and understand everything so they can respond quickly. It also lets you be available to your customers through the use of things like machine learning, chatbots, and AI. This technology is startlingly accurate and continues improving daily. For instance, Facebook’s DeepFace technology is 97% accurate while IBM’s Watson technology is 2,400% “smarter” than it was at this time 6 years ago. Chatbots’ emotional intelligence and voice are also quite human.
• It’s time to get personal with your technology. This is important because researchers believe within 5 years consumers will manage 85% of relationships through AI. These chatbots are able to provide the “personalization” your customers really desire. However, you still need to give your customers the information they want before they ask for it, answer their questions before they ask them, and make them happy before they know they’re unhappy so you don’t lose them to your competition.
Better Risk Management
Inteliment says combining AI with IoT offers you the opportunity to better assess, understand, and predict risks. It also helps you quickly automate your responses so you can manage worker safety better and decrease the looming burden of cyber threats and the financial losses associated with them. For instance, many banks are using AI to identify suspicious activities in real-time today. This is because AI has the potential to boost the value created by IoT. Without the use of AI, the data generated from the IoT network is well, just data and nothing more. According to the International Data Corp, by 2019 AI will support all IoT efforts. It further goes on to say that IoT efforts without the employment of AI will have limited value.
Increasing Operational Efficiency
Since AI technologies can quickly generate precise predictions, they can help your business run much more efficiently. They’ll also give you insight into which redundant and time-consuming tasks you can automate and what operational processes you can fine-tune even more so they become even more efficient. For instance, Google is using AI with IoT to decrease costs associated with cooling their data center.
Helpful in Business Analysis Processes
As more people live in urban neighborhoods today, it’s important to find a balance between supply and demand. AI can help with inventory management and alleviate pressure on stock here since you’ll know when you need to replenish items. This saves retailers from buying too many products only to discover they can’t sell them. Of course, this is much more efficient than the manual methods they’re currently using. Manufacturers can also benefit here with the creation of sensors that improve data collection and analytics for stock and machine maintenance.