Are SMEs ready for AI….and is AI ready for SMEs

Alan Moore,

Artificial intelligence is making more and more inroads into ordinary life, but is heavily driven by companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Google and IBM. Small and medium sized enterprises have much less capacity to explore and develop artificial intelligence (AI) applications than the larger corporations. But new technology solutions are opening the opportunity for even very small companies to use AI to streamline performance and in particular to not only save time on certain tasks, but to improve customer centricity and performance. Chatbots are being increasingly adopted, but solutions are available that can improve sales, marketing, and customer care, there are personal assistants to arrange meetings, and even collect and correlate data for these meetings. More comprehensive capabilities such as IBM Watson are also available to small businesses, including start ups. But SMEs do not have the time, or financial resources to experiment in new technologies that do not give rapid payback. So the issue is how they find quick wins, adopt small steps with tailored applications to make immediate improvements in performance. Knowing which applications will provide these practical business improvements and integrating these into the overall workflows and business processes is the key to staying ahead of competition.


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