Take flight with Microsoft Copilot for AI transformation
Much like a connecting flight in an airport, I welcome you to the first leg of our three-part journey with Microsoft Copilot, your trusted companion in the realm of AI innovation. In this series, we will explore the power of AI transformation and help you understand the risks of generative AI, all while guiding you on how to put your best foot forward when selecting the ideal Copilot for your organisation.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the biggest buzzword in the industry this year. With the amount of chatter surrounding all things AI and AI-driven software, it’s clear organisations need to start preparing for AI transformation – but it can be difficult to cut through the noise and know where to start.
We’ve put this blog together to provide you with some clarity on the what, why, and how of AI transformation, and what this might look like for your organisation.
From digital transformation to AI transformation – the evolution.
The term ‘digital transformation’ joined mainstream conversations in 2013 where Microsoft began using it, associating the term with their view that business was entering the ‘fourth industrial age’, demonstrated by a wave of cloud adoption by many organisations. Digital transformation, as a concept, ensured businesses focused on modernising their technology, aligning its functions and use to specific desired business outcomes. As a result, digital transformation brought about significant advancements in productivity across almost every sector.
In our opinion, the decade-long wave of digital transformation has come to an end – replaced with a new era of AI transformation. With the rise of generative AI models and software, such as ChatGPT and Microsoft 365 (M365) Copilot, productivity advancement has been put on fast-forward.
Why transform with AI?
Organisations like yours are currently filtering through an onslaught of AI-related information. Technologies are advancing at an incredible rate, but practical factors such as adoption, implementation, and regulation are slower to follow. To start putting an AI plan in place, you need to first evaluate the ‘why’ of AI transformation. Here’s just a few reasons why we think early adoption of AI transformation is critical for all organisations:
- Enhanced productivity – this is the most obvious reason. Like digital transformation, AI transformation is all about supercharging productivity. We’ve only seen the start but we’re confident that as AI evolves, it will continue maximising productivity across almost every industry.
- Time back for your staff – AI-driven productivity tools and software like M365 Copilot cut out a significant amount of cumbersome work, giving your staff more time back in their days. We’re still waiting on the release of M365 Copilot but stay tuned – Data#3 is a part of the Early Adopter’s Program (EAP) and we’ll be sharing our adoption journey with you soon.
- Speed to market – the faster your organisation can adopt AI, the more you’ll be able to stand out against your competitors. This will require significant changes to how you operate, but it’s one of the best ways to gain a competitive advantage in today’s landscape.
- Better customer service – most organisations are now leading their 24×7 customer service functions with some form of AI. It can be used to help deliver better customer service, extend operating hours, reduce costs associated with staffing outside of regular business hours, and gain more accurate results into customer wants and behaviours.
- Cost reduction – delegating certain tasks to AI has the potential to greatly reduce operating costs. AI systems, once implemented, can handle significant volumes of tasks that are too large, or costly, to be managed by human staff.
- Faster, more informed decision making – especially in predictive analytics, AI models can provide you with faster and more accurate forecasts and other insights, aiding in improved strategic planning.
- Risk management – AI can be used to better identify and manage risks across several industries. An example is finance – AI can detect fraudulent transactions in real-time, providing a significant advancement in customer service and risk management.
How to make your organisation AI-ready – next steps.
The benefits of AI transformation are clear – but how, exactly, do you implement it at an organisational level?
Data#3 used a six-step process in our own Copilot deployment which serves as a model to help you start thinking about, and planning, your organisation’s AI transformation:
- Outline and refresh your business objectives – if you haven’t revised your overall business objectives and goals in a while, now’s a great time to update them to align with AI adoption. Factors such as improved operational efficiency, enhanced customer experience, and optimised resource allocation are all good to consider. These all tie into your overall AI strategy – make sure to include a roadmap to implementation, use cases, budget considerations, and a risk mitigation plan.
- Educate key stakeholders – especially your upper-level management, but all your employees will need AI awareness to ensure a successful business transformation. Helping them understand basic AI concepts, best practice use, and potential impact on the business is key. You may need to consider training, such as workshops, to achieve this, especially if adopting new tools such as M365 Copilot.
- Choose your AI technologies – there are a lot of options out there, and it can be tricky working out which AI productivity tools will be the most beneficial for your organisation. You may find it helpful to consider use cases where AI could potentially bring the most value when deciding, such as in customer service, supply chain management, or product development.
- Security assessment & review – undertake a review of the existing security in your environment, including the assessment of access to sensitive SharePoint content. Information such as credit cards, payslips or personally identifiable information (PII) should be assessed before embarking on an AI project, as this content will be indexed and presented in results (dependent on user rights). Ideally, this is all covered within the scope of your existing Information Protection controls and tools.
- Data assessment and preparation – effective AI relies on high-quality data. If you haven’t done a data cleanout in a while, now is the time. You should be evaluating your existing data infrastructure, identifying the data sources your AI tools will be drawing upon, and ensuring it’s good enough to train AI models with.
- Adoption, implementation, and monitoring – this is where you acquire, develop, and adopt your chosen AI solutions into your organisation. This might involve hiring AI specialists, collaborating with AI vendors, or purchasing AI tools. It’s important to ensure you have systems in place to monitor the performance of your AI technology, assess the impact on business metrics, and adjust your strategy accordingly. Remember, with any new technology you’ll need time to learn, but in time, you will figure out what works best for your organisation.
Are you ready to start your organisation’s AI transformation?
There’s a lot to get your head around as we’re entering the new era of AI. Data#3 is on the frontlines of AI transformation, and we’re here to help. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you get started on your journey.