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AI readiness: how to prepare your organisation for AI

By 11th July 2023March 27th, 2024No Comments
Illustrated people gather around a large AI blueprint scroll.

AI has recently been hailed as many things: the dawn of the next industrial revolution, an existential threat to humanity, and the most powerful productivity tool on the planet. No matter where you stand on generative AI, its power to change the way we work is undeniable. This leaves businesses with the thorny task of getting ready for AI – but what does that actually mean?

In this article, we’ll look at key business lessons to help you adapt and thrive.

Fight, flight or freeze?

When faced with a big change, sometimes we fight against it. Sometimes we run away, and sometimes we freeze.

Let’s look at freezing for a second – specifically the global ice harvesting industry – and the danger of doing nothing at all.

In the 19th century, ice was harvested from frozen lakes and rivers in the US and Canada and shipped around the world. This innovation sparked a lucrative industry and created a global demand for ice.

However, a few decades later, ice-making machinery changed the game. Commercial ice plants could produce pollutant-free ice on demand. Anywhere, at any time – and at a lower cost than natural ice. By the early 20th century, ice harvesting was obsolete.

No company transitioned from ice harvesting to ice factories. They froze in the face of new technology, and their businesses failed. Later, history repeated itself for the ice plants when home refrigeration came along.

Doing nothing didn’t work.

Two women delivering ice from a cart during the first world war
The First World War created a brief resurgence in the ice harvesting trade, as ice plants couldn’t keep up with demand, but this boost was short-lived.

Ice story, but what does this have to do with AI readiness?

Stay cool, we’re getting to it.

Today, AI is the new opportunity for businesses to embrace. Those who do nothing put themselves at risk.

illustration of an iceberg. Most of it is below water. A polar bear and robot are perched on it.

When it comes to generative AI, ChatGPT is just the tip of the iceberg. Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Adobe – to name a few – have announced their first AI-driven products. On the horizon, Microsoft is marketing Copilot, which will land in Microsoft 365 later this year.

The even more exciting news is that Microsoft have also announced API plugins where developers can leverage Copilot and Microsoft Graph to build next-generation applications for your business.

But AI isn’t simply coming soon; it’s already in your office. Whether it’s ChatGPT, or the AI functions in today’s versions of Microsoft 365, AI is becoming part of our workday. Other apps such as Grammarly, Canva and Vimeo have also harnessed AI in exciting ways. While these tools can unlock productivity, like all shadow IT, unplanned use can leave you vulnerable.

Get ready for AI: a checklist for organisational readiness

Successful change doesn’t happen by accident. And when it comes to AI, having a plan is more important than ever.

At The Inform Team, we specialise in technology change management, and have delivered digital change programmes using our 4E’s methodology for over ten years. We can help you identify the changes that AI will bring to your organisation and unlock the benefits for your people and your bottom line.

To get the most from AI, we recommend a comprehensive assessment across the following areas:

1. Organisational readiness

We’ll evaluate your organisation’s structure, culture and workforce readiness for AI, including your leadership, resources, and employee engagement.

2. Risk and compliance

We’ll look at your organisation’s governance and ability to manage the risks associated with AI, including compliance with relevant regulations, data security, privacy and other ethical considerations.

3. Technical readiness

AI isn’t a plug and play solution. In conjunction with our IT partner, Bytes, we’ll assess your infrastructure and technical capabilities, including your IT systems, data storage and management and network infrastructure to ensure you can get value from AI applications.

4. Data readiness

We’ll evaluate your organisation’s data readiness, including the quality and quantity of data available for AI applications, your data governance policies and procedures, and the level of data literacy across your organisation.

If you’re just starting your exploration of AI, our AI Planning Workshop will guide you through the current landscape and give you an actionable checklist for the future.

Based on our assessment, we’ll provide recommendations and give you a roadmap to make the most of the opportunities AI can offer your organisation.

Don’t put AI planning on ice… drop us a message to start your journey

To find out more about our AI planning workshop or change management services, get in touch with our team to set up a free consultation call.

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