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Adopting AI in business:
A Buyer’s Guide

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The adoption of generative AI tools promises significant advancements in efficiency and innovation across customer service, marketing, R&D, and software development, according to McKinsey’s analysis.

However, the journey towards widespread adoption is nuanced, facing hesitancy due to ethical and security concerns. To navigate these challenges and harness the full potential of AI, organizations must prioritize data governance and robust security measures.

This guide aims to simplify the process, offering insights into the most effective strategies for integrating AI into business operations.

Types of AI solutions

AI-powered technologies are quickly becoming essential workplace tools, similar to email and video conferencing. However, embracing these advancements necessitates careful consideration of security and ethical considerations.

Security concerns

Security is a major concern when it comes to using AI. While AI-powered tools like ChatGPT can make work easier and more efficient, there is a risk of exposing sensitive business information. Recent studies reveal that almost 20% of employees use such tools to process work-related tasks, which involve entering confidential data. This puts your company’s data at risk of being exposed to the vendor’s training algorithms.

0%

of employees use tools that involves entering confidential data.

Alarmingly, more than a quarter of this data is sensitive, raising substantial security concerns.

The primary types of confidential information are

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Internal business data

0%

Source
code

0%

Personally identifiable information

AI technologies pose a challenge because they don’t have a “delete button.” Once sensitive or personal data is included in an AI’s training set, it is almost impossible to remove it. The lack of options to delete the data implies that any leaked information is not just temporarily exposed but permanently marked. This highlights the need for strict data protection measures.

Critical Criteria for Successful AI Adoption: What to Consider for Long-Term Value

When considering AI adoption for your business, it’s crucial to assess potential solutions against a set of key features. These features are imperative not just for fulfilling immediate requirements but also for ensuring the tool’s viability and long-term value. Here’s what to look for:

Scalability

Scalability is a crucial factor when it comes to accommodating growth and fluctuating demands in any business.
An AI tool that is scalable can handle an increasing amount of data and complexity without degrading performance. Therefore, it's important to look for solutions that can scale up or down based on your business needs. This ensures seamless operation during peak times and efficient resource use during slower periods. So, it's always beneficial to have a scalable AI tool in your business to achieve long-term success.

Usability

Usability ensures that the tool is accessible to users of varying skill levels. A user-friendly interface and an excellent user experience design can reduce the learning curve significantly and encourage more people to use it. Tools that require minimal technical expertise to operate can significantly enhance productivity and innovation.

Integration

Integration capabilities determine how well the AI tool can work with your existing software ecosystem. Integrating a tool that works seamlessly with your existing systems, such as CRM, ERP, and data analytics platforms, can help streamline your workflows, improve data consistency, and minimize manual data entry errors. By integrating with popular APIs and services, you can ensure that the tool remains compatible and functional even as your tech stack evolves.

Support and training

Support and training are vital for overcoming technical challenges and maximizing the tool's potential. Evaluate the vendor's support options, including availability, response times, and the quality of assistance provided. Comprehensive training resources, such as tutorials, webinars, and documentation, empower your team to leverage the tool effectively, ensuring a smooth adoption process.

Vendor reputation

Vendor reputation offers insights into reliability and customer satisfaction. Research the vendor's track record, customer testimonials, and case studies to gauge their industry standing and the performance of their solutions. A reputable vendor with a proven history of delivering quality AI solutions can provide peace of mind and long-term partnership potential.

Decision matrix table

If you’re deciding between multiple AI vendors, here’s a handy table that will help you make the final call.

  • Score each vendor from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent) based on each criterion
  • Use the 'Notes' section for any specific observations or considerations
  • Sum up the scores to identify which vendor best meets your needs

Building an AI review committee: Ensuring a secure and ethical path to AI adoption

Your AI committee can be either a newly established group or an existing team within your organization tasked with new responsibilities. For larger organizations, multiple such committees might be necessary.

The committee’s primary role is straightforward: to identify and address ethical and security challenges associated with AI adoption, whether they are developed internally or acquired from external suppliers.

Whenever product and procurement teams propose an AI solution, the committee must ensure it has no significant security or ethical concerns.

Who should serve on the committee?

Who are the essential members of your AI ethics committee,
and what reasons justify their involvement?

  • IT security experts: To assess the technical safeguards of AI applications and their vulnerability to cyber threats.
  • Data privacy officers: To ensure AI solutions comply with data protection regulations and uphold the principles of privacy.
  • Legal advisors: To provide insights on the legal implications of deploying AI technologies and ensure adherence to applicable laws.
  • Business unit leaders: To evaluate the alignment of AI solutions with business objectives and operational needs.

Final thoughts

Adopting AI can lead to transformative growth and innovation as we approach a new era of business technology.

Yet, this path must be tread with caution, mindfulness, and a deep commitment to ethical practices and data security.

By prioritizing these values and utilizing strategic tools like the decision matrix, your business can confidently move forward, harnessing the full potential of AI to achieve success.

Listen to what CEOs have to say about Seraf

Adopting new technologies has been what's helped Freedman stay on top of its industry for 125+ years. We're excited for all the value Seraf and their team is bringing to our organization.

Craig Freedman,CEO, Freedman Seating Company 

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