Presented by Hypergiant
AI is transformative only when you ditch company siloes to embrace a horizontal approach, optimize diverse but connected processes, and open up true cross-functional functioning for the first time. To learn how to squeeze out the promise of AI, join this VB Live event!
“People have forgotten how hard it was to integrate mobility into the enterprise from a technology standpoint,” says John Fremont, founder and chief AI officer of Hypergiant. “And now they’re like, ‘Just give us an AI. Throw that in the mix.’ But this is a full-blown management consulting transformation of your business.”
While artificial intelligence has been proven to transform businesses, the first thing it needs to transform is how your business is structured say Fremont. Most companies are siloed now simply because that’s what has worked as technology stacks have been built and evolved.
Now companies have to reframe the way they look at how they’ve built technology until now. AI is forcing a philosophical shift on how comanies approach implementing technology, and IT is no longer a second-class citizen.
That’s because AI fits very differently into company processes and infrastructure. It’s about activating your data, streamlining the movement of information throughout your organization, and breaking down the walls to optimize how all the pieces of your business connect and work together.
Once data becomes available at every level of business, you layer on machine learning models that are able to tap into all the disparate pieces of information that enter your organization from every direction — HR, shipping, sales, etc., and your decisions become smarter, your strategy gets more robust, and your ability to do more hits double speed.
“But the challenge we face is how to break down the walls,” Fremont says. “From the start, a decision maker has to say, we are architecting our business differently.”
You have to holistically look at the people, the process, the business. You have to look at the systems, the framework, the constraints, and the future state that you’re actually decoding.
Ultimately a couple of things need to shift, Fremont adds. Companies as a whole need to understand that technology is, and always will be, the repository of the ethos and culture of the business and how it works.
“Humans don’t like that because they believe that they make up the culture, and that’s true, but we engage with the system,” he explains. “And because of that, our culture is integrated with the system, and you have to take a concerted effort now to make that understood.”
Non-technical people hear about AI and automatically go to science fiction land, he says, where the technology is magic, or difficult, or dangerous. The majority of people sitting at the tables and boardrooms and C-suites across the Fortune 500 are not technologists. They don’t understand AI or how big of an effort this is, and why it’s necessary, now.
The pushback is reminiscent of the one in 2008, Fremont says, when mobile began to emerge, and companies panicked about changing consumer expectations and the impact of mobile in business. But mobile was just extending the enterprise.
The implications of refusing to understand the importance of AI will be far more significant.
“This is not for the faint of heart,” Fremont says. “If your company as a whole doesn’t understand how big of a deal this is, you’d better replace your staff or walk out of the room and hire someone who can do it, because the companies that do this will win, and the companies that don’t will lose so fast they won’t even know what to do.”
The challenges: stripping emotion from the equation, eliminating analysis paralysis and too many uneducated votes, getting everyone on the same page and then pushing it down from the top. It also takes redefining what AI means — you might have some artificial intelligence abilities integrated into some of your processes now, but the next step is launching it at scale, knitting data together across the organization to create value and insight end-to-end.
“We need to spend time re-architecting the way we think about using this, in that it’s gonna cost a lot of money, and you’re not gonna get results tomorrow,” Fremont says. “This is a massive transformation that’s going to take years, the technological evolution that’s necessary for us to grow. And it’s going to be worthwhile.”
To learn more about what it means to go all-in on an AI strategy at scale, and what it takes to get your company on board and your infrastructure prepared, don’t miss this VB Live event.
Don’t miss out!
- How to identify areas of opportunity and look at how each of these areas connect
- How to put necessary support in place to make AI meaningful
- How to ask the right questions about your data
- How to collect the required datasets to truly transform your businesses
- How to anticipate the user experience
- How to create a rally point around what it means to employ this type of technology
- What decisions are required to implement at scale
- John Fremont, Founder & Chief AI Officer, Hypergiant
- André Cunha, Digital Innovation Manager at Nestlé
- Joe Maglitta, Moderator