Attention C-level: Why an AI strategy is important to your business
AlfaPeople DK |
Apr 11, 2024

Attention C-level: Why an AI strategy is important to your business

In the swiftly evolving landscape of today’s business world, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of the transformative forces. AI is increasingly pivotal in reshaping business landscapes by automating tasks, enhancing decision-making, and fostering personalized experiences.

According to Egon Cesar Coradini, Sales and Marketing Director at AlfaPeople in Brazil, AI holds immense potential to drive efficiency, innovation, and competitive advantage.

“AI can boost efficiency through process automation, foster innovation by uncovering insights from data, and provide competitive advantage by enabling predictive analytics,” he says.

However, Coradini admits that navigating this landscape of new technologies can be challenging. Therefore, the role of the C-level executive and strategic decision-maker is pivotal in navigating this new technological frontier and formulating an AI strategy that outlines how the organization intends to leverage AI to achieve its business objectives.

“C-level engagement in formulating and implementing an AI strategy is crucial for setting strategic direction, aligning AI initiatives with business objectives, and allocating resources effectively,” Coradini says.

AI for different needs and levels of maturity

But every business is different and has different needs. Some might already have AI capabilities onboard, while others are only now starting to explore the possibilities.

One company that can help you no matter where you are on your AI journey is Microsoft. Microsoft’s AI offerings cater to diverse needs and capabilities through a range of products and services – from pre-built solutions like Azure Cognitive Services to customizable platforms like Azure Machine Learning – enabling businesses to implement AI regardless of their technical expertise.

“Microsoft’s AI offerings accommodate businesses at different stages of their AI maturity by providing scalable solutions that range from basic automation tools to advanced machine learning models,” Coradini adds.

To help C-level executives select the best AI solutions for their businesses, AlfaPeople is hosting a workshop where it will be possible to discover the transformative potential of Microsoft AI technologies, exploring how AI, including Co-pilot and the Power Platform, can revolutionize efficiency and workflows.

Overview of Microsoft AI solutions

Microsoft’s AI solutions can be divided into three categories: out-of-the-box, low code/no code, and advanced coding (also known as ‘Disneyland’).

Microsoft’s AI solutions can be divided into three categories: out-of-the-box, low code/no code, and advanced coding (also known as ‘Disneyland’).

  • Out-of-the-box AI solutions: Microsoft offers out-of-the-box AI solutions such as Copilot, Azure Cognitive Services, Power Platform AI Builder, and Dynamics 365 AI applications, which provide ready-to-use capabilities for tasks such as image recognition, natural language processing, and predictive analytics.
  • Low-code/No-code:
  • Microsoft’s AI solutions are low-code/no-code, which means they can be implemented and customized with minimal to no programming required. This allows users to build and deploy AI applications using visual interfaces and pre-built components.
  • This approach reduces the barrier to entry for AI adoption, enabling faster development cycles, lowering development costs, and empowering citizen developers and business users to create AI-driven solutions without extensive technical expertise, Coradini explains.
  • “Empowering non-technical staff to innovate is crucial for fostering a culture of innovation within a company, as it unlocks diverse perspectives and enables faster iteration and experimentation, leading to the discovery of new business opportunities and competitive advantages,” he says.
  • Advanced Coding:
  • Microsoft also supports bespoke AI solutions through platforms like Azure AI Services and Machine Learning, providing tools, frameworks, and infrastructure for constructing machine learning models tailored to specific business needs.
  • It’s essentially Disneyland for AI solutions, coding that enables addressing unique challenges and opportunities within an organization by building a tailored solution.
  • “Companies that require custom development of AI solutions typically include those with specialized or domain-specific requirements, complex data environments, or unique business processes that off-the-shelf solutions cannot adequately address,” Coradini says.

Five steps to a successful AI strategy

Before diving deep into the ocean of technology, it might be worth considering what fundamentals need to be in place to create a successful AI strategy.

Here are five steps to a successful AI strategy according to Egon Cesar Coradini, Sales and Marketing Director at AlfaPeople in Brazil:

  • Define Clear Objectives: Align the AI strategy with the overarching business goals. Identify specific outcomes AI can help achieve.
  • Assess Current Capabilities: Evaluate existing data assets, technological infrastructure, and talent pool. Determine what resources are available.
  • Identify Use Cases: Prioritize use cases for AI to deliver the most value. Focus on quick wins that demonstrate tangible benefits and build momentum.
  • Develop Implementation Roadmap: Create a phased roadmap outlining key milestones, timelines, and resource requirements for AI implementation.
  • Establish Governance and Ethics Framework: Define policies and procedures for responsible AI use, encompassing data privacy, security, bias mitigation, and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Governance and security concerns regarding AI

Late last year, the European Union reached an agreement on the AI Act – the first-ever legal framework on AI. The AI Act aims to provide AI developers and deployers with precise requirements and obligations regarding specific uses of AI.

For C-level executives, AI rules and regulations might lead to concerns regarding governance and security. The main concerns revolve around ensuring compliance with regulations and protecting sensitive data from breaches and adversarial attacks.

Coradini explains that the best way for C-level executives to navigate these risks is to prioritize ethical considerations and risk management throughout the AI lifecycle.

When implementing Microsoft AI governance measures – such as Azure Policy and Azure Blueprints, or Azure Sentinel for security – compliance and risk management are provided, making the process more approachable.

Stakeholders are essential in AI adoption

“If C-level executives aim for success in implementing AI, they need a strategy. They must focus on governance and security. They also need to involve company stakeholders,” Coradini explains.

“Involving stakeholders throughout the AI implementation process ensures that diverse perspectives, needs, and concerns are considered. “It helps build consensus and gain buy-in. It fosters collaboration. This leads to better-designed solutions. These solutions meet the needs of end users. They also align with business objectives,” he says.

Choosing the right partner

Navigating the AI landscape requires specialized expertise, technological capabilities, and industry knowledge that may not always be available in-house. “Choosing the right partner is crucial. They should have a proven track record in AI and a collaborative approach. This can accelerate the adoption journey, mitigate risks, and unlock extra value. This is done by leveraging external resources, insights, and networks.”

AlfaPeople can help implement AI solutions that are the right fit for any business. AlfaPeople recognizes that clients are often at different stages of their AI maturity. “This means that AlfaPeople always begins by understanding their specific needs and demands. Then, it shifts its focus to collaboration. This effort aims to identify a clear vision. The vision is of how AI can drive their business objectives.”

“To identify the most suitable AI solutions for a client, it’s essential to understand their business needs and goals deeply. One must analyze the operational and competitive context. It’s important to map available AI capabilities in the market. Customizing selected solutions to meet the client’s specific requirements is key. Demonstrating potential value through use cases and prototypes is critical. Maintaining an ongoing dialogue to iterate and adjust solutions as needed is necessary. This ensures they effectively meet the client’s expectations and needs,” Coradini says.

Do you want to know more about Microsoft AI? Sign up for our workshop now!