The Path to the AI Summit
A British expedition first attempted to summit Mt. Everest in 1921 exploring routes to the top of the mountain and working through the high-mountain challenges. It took another 32 years before Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay finally reached the summit at 6:30 am on May 29, 1953.
Reaching the summit required a significant amount of preparation that included 362 porters, 20 Sherpas, and 10,000 lbs of equipment that needed to be transported from Kathmandu.
Artificial Intelligence represents today’s equivalent of reaching new heights. Some companies have invested heavily in this climb, forging new routes to the top and creating new technologies, while others are carefully watching and waiting, not quite sure what to make of everything or where to start. Executives often hear the phrases artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning, and deep learning, and have to understand what they all mean and how they apply to their business.
Our point of view is that reaching the AI summit requires climbing three distinct mountains, the Setup, Sustain, and Scale mountains. Like climbing high mountains, the Setup phase of the AI mountain requires a lot of preparation and strong guidance from a skilled guide.
The First Mountain: Setting Up Artificial Intelligence
During the Setup phase, the goal of the organization is to make the right initial investments in AI and establish the required AI momentum. Unfortunately, organizations can falter at this stage by either being too rigid and creating an AI strategy before they really understand AI or being too flexible and setting up multiple teams and proofs of concept without clear objectives.
In our eBook, we explore the five steps to ensure you are set up for success. These include starting with the right team, ideating and prioritize AI use cases, setting up rapid infrastructure enablement, knowing how to prove, approve, and build solutions, and finally educating your organization on AI knowledge.
Start With The Right Team
Just as having the right team is vital to safely reach the mountain summit, the AI team you bring together will either make or break your AI endeavor. Unfortunately, organizations often bring together a combination of available resources without really considering if they are the best resources for this major expedition. Each member of the team needs to be hand-picked and should understand the overall objective and the role they need to play.
Ideate and Prioritize Use-Cases
As the team begins on the journey, they need to be highly focused on where they should spend their energy. It is very easy for teams to get distracted with shiny new opportunities or take on projects that are all about proving the value of the latest technology investments. To avoid this trap, AI teams need to understand how to build a backlog of potential use-cases and be selective about the projects they pursue initially.
Setup Rapid Technology Enablement
Mountain climbers are very particular about the equipment they carry. The equipment is carefully selected to meet their unique needs and to ensure they can travel light. AI teams at the start of their climb often get bogged down and spend an inordinate amount of time trying to determine the right tools they need to use instead of using prescribed cloud analytics tools for rapid enablement.
Prove, Approve, and Build Solutions
Mountain climbers always have their eye on the big, challenging mountain, but to get there, they need to start small and prove that they can accomplish the small climbs first. Each climb, with an increasing level of complexity and challenge, allows them to build up to the big climb. Working through AI use cases is no different. The AI team might want to solve the big problem, but they need to be smart and start with the small problems first. Leveraging the Art of the Feasible to prove what can be accomplished and following that up with Art of the Possible to sell the vision of AI will allow you to align with both business and technology stakeholders.
Educate the Organization on AI Knowledge
A key objective of the Setup Phase is educating stakeholders on what AI means, what it can do, what it’s implication will be, and how others are using it. The value of the investment roadshows and increased collaboration with business executives and technologists are multifold. It not only helps increase the overall awareness of AI but through these conversations, it helps the AI team fine-tune their messaging and planned direction.
Why Climb the Mountain?
Your early AI investment and focus will either set up your AI program for excellence or drive it to mediocrity, or worse yet, failure. As you climb the first mountain on your way to the AI summit, learn how to make the right bets by forming the right team, implementing rapid technology, targeting use cases, leveraging purposeful methodology, and gaining strong common alignment. Early investment will pay handsome dividends on your AI journey.
Whether you are at the start of this journey or somewhere along the way and looking for a different route to the summit, we welcome you to reach out to us at Sense Corp. To learn more, download our eBook, Reaching the AI Summit: The Definitive Step-By-Step Playbook for Setting Up Your AI Organization.
Sense Corp is a leading professional services firm transforming organizations for the digital era. We help clients solve their toughest challenges by bridging the gap between what is and what’s possible. To learn more about the services we offer, contact us.