Why it’s time small and midsize businesses embrace the AI revolution
Sometimes changes in technology arrive amid such fanfare it’s hard to miss them. Smartphones that turned personal computing on its head. The jet engine that shrank the world and opened travel for everyone. Global positioning systems that made it easy to do everything from tracking a hurricane to delivering a pizza. The impact, even if it unfolded over a decade or more, was visible, explosive and undeniable. They arrived, we changed, and no one was surprised.
Yet perhaps the most dramatic technology change since humans first learned to smelt metal and turn useless rocks into transformation tools has, despite all the talk and hype, already arrived. And it’s easy to miss—just like the silicon chip, hidden away in all those other technologies but powering transformative change. Artificial intelligence (AI) has been talked up for so long it would be easy to imagine it was no more than hype and scaremongering.
But make no mistake, AI is here and it’s changing our entire economy right under our noses.
NO LONGER JUST FOR BIG ORGANIZATIONS
While governments and big businesses have been using expensive and complex AI tools for a while now, it is the advent of AI in the world of small and medium businesses (SMB)that is rewriting the rules of commerce. Highly focused AI tools, built and optimized to solve specific sets of business challenges are available to everyone, delivered through the ubiquitous cloud and accessed through smartphones in the pocket of everyone from the CEO to the customer service rep.
Small businesses are using AI to solve a slew of problems that were, until recently, simply too complex to manage, too expensive to address or required highly skilled and scarce data-scientist expertise.
From how to price a carton of paper cups to what training your engineers will need to meet the challenges of your expanding business, AI is attacking all manner of business planning and operational problems, crunching data, and offering up insights, advice, and the ability to respond faster to changes than ever before. And, guess what, no one really cares how it’s being done—only that it’s making their lives easier.