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Enterprise AI: A New Chapter in the Re-Invention of Businesses

By Dick Weisinger

Artificial Intelligence applied to the enterprise. What benefits can it bring? One example is teaching software to be able to perform repeatable tasks more efficiently than humans, and there is likely a lot of overlap with AI and traditional rules-based RPA (Robotic Process Automation). Another example is the application of AI to make processes and workflows more intelligent, an idea that echoes back to Thomas Davenport‘s ‘business process re-engineering‘ idea that was popular in the 1990’s.

On the surface at least, the goals of Enterprise AI aren’t that much different than what’s been talked about in the area of business and process automation over the last thirty years. It’s just that the speed of innovation continues to pick up as time goes by.

Businesses have bought into the idea of applying AI, and various surveys estimate that between 20 to 37 percent of large companies are adopting or experimenting with AI techniques and tools, a number that seems actually low.

A survey by O’Reilly compared adoption of AI across a spectrum of industries. Surprising to me was that Government and Education actually ranked among the industries most interested. These industries are often considered to be the laggards in terms of new technology adoption. Interest is very high in financial services, telecommunications, electronics, and healthcare.

A newer survey by Forrester pegs adoption and experimentation of AI within enterprises to as high as 54 percent.

Mike Gualtieri, Forrester analyst, said that “it’s early days, but moving fast. We expect that number to reach nearly 100% by 2024 because AI is a fundamental technology that will find its way into every application.”

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