Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on everybody’s lips right now. But how much is hype, and how many companies are currently achieving practical competitive advantage from these technologies?
Recent research by Intelligentsia found that, in the UK and Europe, AI is still in the early stages of implementation. Forward-thinking customers are actively trialling propositions such as IBM’s Watson and Salesforce’s Einstein, but most deployments remain at the ‘Proof of Concept’ phase. Those Proofs of Concept are often, indeed, funded entirely by AI firms trying to convince sceptical senior managers of ROI.
So AI firms are very much in a market making phase. But the signs are there that some of the UK’s and Europe’s leading firms will move to full implementations soon. And those firms are likely to gain a substantial first mover advantage.
This is especially true in certain industries and use cases.
In June 2017, UK FS software firm Misys and Canadian payments technology specialist D+H merged to form Finastra. The new company is considered one of the top three FinTech players in the world, counting 48 of the top 50 global banks among its customers. Finastra soon announced a deal with IBM to develop new banking services using cloud and cognitive technologies. The primary focus will be to enhance Finastra’s existing open architecture in the digital retail banking space.
FinTech is a growing sector in itself, but is also seen as an entry point into the wider Financial Services sector, especially Insurance, where AI has huge potential benefits for risk management.
Internet of Things:
One of the most important applications of AI is likely to be in making sense of the massive volumes of data that are being, and will be, generated by the Internet of Things (IoT). This is an early focus of AI business development in Europe, with IBM for example opening a global headquarters for Watson IoT in Munich, Germany.
Another key business case at present is in marketing – using AI to help companies understand their customers and tailor messages to them. Salesforce is well placed to develop this market, given that its Einstein AI proposition plugs into its Marketing and Sales Cloud propositions and hence is a natural choice for companies that already use Salesforce CRM.
What are your competitors doing to trial AI? How close are they to implementing technology that could give them an important competitive advantage? What do you need to do to counter the threat? Contact Intelligentsia (firstname.lastname@example.org) to gain actionable intelligence today.