Most businesses in DC, MD and VA are so fixed on the ups and downs of the trends of the moment, which often hinder innovation and efficiency. To serve customers with the best tools available, any business, business owner, or decision-maker needs to understand the basics of current leading technologies and ask how these can be utilized to impact their business positively. Smarthost Design Technologies sees Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) as the next tools to close the gaps and prepare for the next phase of Digital Transformation (DT).
What is Digital Transformation (DT)?
DT is defined as the transition from manual, inefficient processes to the digitalization and automation of processes to enhance customer relationships, save money on resources, and increase efficiencies. In the early stages of the pandemic, companies were forced to quickly transition from manual/face-to-face processes to digitalized processes.
With that defined, let’s discuss Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in simple terms that will help small business embrace this phenomenon (technology) and be equipped to survive and thrive in this ever-changing global market.
What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
AI is not alien. AI is simply a machine trained to understand given data and make an inference, while powered by computers rather than human thought or energy. For example, a computer/machine can be taught that a shape with four equal sides is a square or how to identify and differentiate colors such as red and blue. Do you have kids? If you do, you may remember your child learning shapes and colors; in the same way a computer/machine is trained with data. So if you are still with me, AI is not smart! It is just the combination of what we, humans, have trained it to do. The advantage of AI is that a computer can handle routine data faster, more efficiently, and more accurately than humans can without getting burned out.
What is Machine Learning (ML)?
ML is the development of machines to perform simple to complex tasks based on “learned” models, algorithms, and patterns. It’s simply a process of building models, which are then given to computers in order to make decisions based on what was taught/trained. In short, the outcome of ML is AI. Some everyday examples of ML include spam email filtering through the identification of keywords. Another application where ML is used is speech recognition and virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Polly or Apple’s Siri.
What does this all mean for your business?
Good question! After all, technology without good use is a waste of human talent and ultimately meaningless. Actually, everything is meaningless without a creator’s intention.
In my opinion, AI and ML are the next breakthrough points of the next decade and beyond. Businesses and government entities that embrace these technologies will remain advantageous in the future. Here’s how AI and ML can improve your business—I promise to keep this simple.
- Process automation – Every business has processes. Whether it’s an order/sales process, quality assurance process, hiring process—or, my favorite, onboarding process—the maturity of these processes depends on where your business is on the maturity spectrum. For some, it’s in our head, and for others, written down in steps and checklists. The transformation occurs when these processes are transformed into digital processes using ML and AI. One way Smarthost Design Technologies helped a customer make this transformation was by implementing Microsoft Office 365 to collect and automate the process of issuing electronic certificates of destruction (COD). Another application would be using AI and ML on web forms for order/sales processing. Additionally, there are many emerging cloud-based solutions with AI and ML built-in to improve efficiency, efficacy, and even content creation for training and collaboration. You see, my current favorite is ChatGPT.
- Get answers from your data – All businesses have data and some even say “data is the blood flows that connect various parts of the businesses.” One thing that AI and ML have in common is data, and more data means more intelligence. This has led to an influx of many new tools with the help of cloud computing; in the near future, all businesses will be able to tap into the use of cloud apps. This will allow businesses to gain insight and intelligence on data they already have by using tools such as Power BI, Tableau, Salesforce, and Looker.
- Innovative Solution for your business customer – Here is the most important aspect of AI and ML in every business. Implementing AI and ML into your products and services will yield the most ROI and return on customer (ROC). By transforming your services with the implementation of AI and ML, your business will develop richer interactions with every customer, meet high customer expectations, and communicate that your business is an innovative player that is working hard for them to meet their business challenges and needs. At Smarthost Design Technologies, we have implemented an AI driven customer satisfaction survey for use following support requests and project completion.
Partner with us and let us help you on your AI and ML journey
At Smarthost Design Technologies, we have always been in the forefront of technologies from basic web-to-web 2.0, C# and C++, Google Apps, and MSO to MS Azure and AWS Cloud. And now, AI and ML will be the game-changing technology and “digital revolution” of our generation.
We can help you begin your journey, no matter how small. All it takes is one process at a time and you will gradually begin realizing the ROI and ROC of your effort. To learn more about AI and ML applications in cybersecurity, government, and other aspects of your business, contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or request a 15-30 min consultation to discuss your AI/ML strategy.