Many professionals and companies today use artificial intelligence (AI) to perform simple and administrative tasks. But maybe it’s about time we started looking at how we can use AI for business strategy.
Studies show that AI will most likely grow by 37.3% every year until 2030 on average, taking on different forms and applications.
Now, the most successful companies no longer use AI for mundane tasks like data entry or notifications alone. They use it for more high-value deliverables like business strategy, data interpretation, planning, and so much more.
In this article, we’ll dive into how artificial intelligence is changing business strategy, AI implications for business strategy, and how to implement an AI strategy to create more effective business strategies.
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
Table of contents
- What is Business Strategy?
- How AI is Changing Business Strategy Development
- How to Implement AI into Your Business Strategy
- The Future of AI in Business Strategy
What is Business Strategy?
Business strategy is one of the most valuable business functions a company can focus on. It also ends up on the back burner when organizations become busy, and business gets challenging.
But what is a business strategy, and how can we implement it in our businesses? A business strategy involves developing ideas and tactics to help your business achieve its objectives.
Sometimes, a business strategy can give your business a competitive advantage over other industry players by identifying new market opportunities, creating differentiation, or entering new markets.
Other times, it helps streamline business processes, cut costs, or increase sales and revenue. For example, it can help you identify areas where you can improve your efficiency, such as automating tasks or outsourcing certain functions.
Some companies also use business strategies to broker better deals with suppliers, reduce overhead costs, increase sales and revenue, determine staff training plans, or expand the business.
All in all, business strategies help you do one thing: develop action plans that you can implement to bring long-term success.
How Businesses Typically Develop a Strategy
We’ve been creating business strategies for as long as business has been around. However, the way we do it has evolved over the years. There are many ways to develop a business strategy. Some of these ways include:
- Creating goals and mission statements to define success
- Studying competitors
- Observing industry and public trends
- Brainstorming on creative ways to market products and services
- Using sales data in financial planning
- Monitoring performance to find areas of improvement
Many of these activities are time-consuming and resource-intensive manual tasks. However, AI solutions are now available to help businesses automate and streamline many tasks.
Machine learning has pushed the boundaries of strategy creation and implementation. Digital transformation now helps us make more data-driven decisions at faster rates than ever before.
Now, we use digital tools like AI for decision-making, business strategies and applications, AI implementation in business, strategic project management, and business development, among many others.
How AI is Changing Business Strategy Development
AI-powered tools and strategies are changing business strategy development in many ways. These positive changes can bring all kinds of benefits to your business. Your business can enjoy several benefits from AI, including:
- Improving decision-making by analyzing large amounts of data and identifying patterns that would be invisible to humans.
- Reducing strategist burnout and overwhelm by automating mundane tasks that inhibit more creative and critical thinking.
- Personalizing customer experiences by tailoring products and services to individual needs.
- Achieving operational efficiency by streamlining processes and reducing costs.
- Creating more room for innovation so your company can remain cutting-edge.
Where to Use AI in Business Development
In what specific aspects of business strategy can you use an AI system? Here are some specific examples of how business leaders and companies are implementing AI in business strategy development:
1. Data Collection and Analysis
Most companies using AI in their data strategy are now using it to collect and analyze large amounts of data from various sources. AI can also perform data management and analysis tasks that turn information into data-driven insights.
One example is how social media managers use social listening tools to scrape the internet. AI projects can then look at user engagement, comments, and keywords and suggest content ideas matching your company’s brand.
Data collection also plays a big role in other data collection tasks, such as:
- Web scraping
- Natural language processing
- Machine learning
- Computer vision
2. Concept Development
There’s a growing use case for generative AI to help conceptualize new ideas for marketing, sales, product development, and business processes.
AI strategy generation products, like ChatGPT and Google Bard, help create written content that companies can use to build brands and market products. You can then place them in an idea management software for further brainstorming.
Some companies also use AI technologies to create new concepts and ideas for products and services. Then, some deploy AI applications to create SOPs and policies to streamline business operations.
The ways you can apply AI through concept and content development are endless. However, companies must maintain responsible AI use, such as avoiding disinformation and plagiarism when using new technologies.
3. Business Automation
AI’s potential has also created opportunities to automate various business strategy processes. Some tasks you can automate with artificial intelligence include:
- Customer segmentation
- Marketing automation
- Sales forecasting
- Risk management
- Data security compliance
- Human resources
- Finance and accounting
Some of these tasks might not be strategy-related. But they help free up the time of directors, strategists, and senior executives so they can think of better programs and focus on major decision-making.
4. Predictive Analytics
Today, some companies and AI strategists also use artificial intelligence to make business-related predictions. Some things AI can predict quite well include market trends, sales forecasting, success rates, and economic conditions.
This information can help businesses decide where to allocate resources, develop new products, and expand into new markets.
5. User and Customer Study
Another AI implementation in business strategy is in user and customer behavior studies. You can now use AI to study what products your prospects and clients are interested in, how they use a website and their preferences.
With AI, B2B marketers can even find ways to increase lead generation and conversion. In a nutshell, businesses can use AI to understand their customers better and develop products and services that meet their needs.
Popular Tools for AI Business Strategy
Here are some of the most popular AI tools for business strategy:
IBM Watson Studio
IBM Watson Studio is a comprehensive AI platform that provides various tools for data preparation, model development, and deployment. It has machine learning, deep learning, and data visualization capabilities to streamline business strategy.
Google Cloud AI
Google Cloud AI offers a suite of AI tools and services designed to assist businesses in leveraging machine learning and AI technologies. It provides services such as AutoML, AI Platform, and BigQuery ML for various AI use cases.
Microsoft Azure AI
Microsoft Azure AI provides a broad range of AI services and tools that enable businesses to build, deploy, and manage AI applications. It includes services like Azure Machine Learning, Cognitive Services, and Bot Framework for creating intelligent solutions.
This platform provides tools for data preparation, predictive analytics, and machine learning. It offers a drag-and-drop interface and supports various algorithms for building predictive models. RapidMiner also has concept exploration and visualization features to aid in concept development.
How to Implement AI into Your Business Strategy
If you plan to implement artificial tools into your business strategy, you’ll need an action plan. Here is a step-by-step process to integrate AI into your business strategy.
Define your Goals.
Simply implementing AI to have AI tools in strategic roles and activities in your company won’t push the needle forward. Having clear and defined goals is your first step to successfully implementing AI into your business strategy.
Create specific and measurable goals to measure and monitor your project’s success. For example, instead of saying, “I want to improve customer service,” you could say, “I want to reduce customer wait times by 20%.”
Assess Your Current Situation.
Assessing your current situation starts with looking at your current systems and employees. Can you integrate your tools with AI platforms? If not, are your team members ready to learn AI tools?
Artificial intelligence also depends highly on data, so you should check how much and what kind of data you’ll need to process.
Study AI System Options.
There are so many tools with AI capabilities nowadays. Finding the right technology to fit your needs will be a big step. Consider your budget, goals, and current situation before finding a solution.
If you have limited resources, try looking for open-source AI solutions. But remember that free tools will have more limitations or a greater learning curve. Weigh those factors with the cost and see which will benefit your company most.
Roll Out AI Solutions.
Implementing AI solutions culminates in your rollout plan. To ensure your strategy team is ready and equipped, train them to use your tools. It will also help to hire an ad hoc or internal AI team with the transition.
Test them in a controlled environment before rolling them out fully. This will help you identify potential problems and ensure that AI is the right solution for your business.
Monitor and Improve AI Tools and Systems.
Most organizations implementing AI tools into their workflow don’t perfect them immediately. So, once you have implemented AI solutions, you should continue to monitor their performance and make improvements as needed.
The Future of AI in Business Strategy
Today, 91% of businesses have an ongoing investment in AI to some degree. Linking AI and strategy is something more companies will continue to roll out in their organizations over the next few years.
Suppose you want your business strategies to remain competitive and reduce the time and resources needed to develop relevant and new ones. In that case, it might be time you started using AI in your business strategic planning.
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