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February 15, 2024 | Andrew Larson

Revving Up the Workplace: FinQuery CTO Shares How AI Drives Innovation

By remaining open to possibilities, business leaders can leverage artificial intelligence technology effectively while also ensuring that the right processes are in place.

AI is being adopted by companies at warp speed.

A recent report from Insight Enterprises found that 72% of business leaders from Fortune 500 companies plan to incorporate generative AI within the next three years to improve employee productivity. Dozens of other reports and surveys have measured AI sentiment in the corporate world, but the reality for business leaders is that if in-depth processes and policies are not established, this technology could do more harm than good in the corporate world.

AI adoption is not the time to run blind. When used effectively, AI solutions can minimize risk, increase efficiency, and reduce costs for businesses and their customers. There is general uncertainty surrounding AI solutions as 51% of business leaders report concerns about quality and control, and 49% cite concerns around safety and security. Therefore, business leaders need to focus on what they do know: their business, customers, and goals.

AI drives innovation in many ways, and all AI investments must be headed in the right direction. By remaining open to possibilities, business leaders can leverage this technology effectively while also ensuring that the right processes are in place.

Andrew Larson of LeaseQuery

Andrew Larson

Let’s dive into the ways business leaders can drive AI innovation effectively to meet their ultimate business goals.

Establish a Clear AI Strategy

Neglecting AI strategy can have severe consequences for businesses, including missed opportunities, inefficient operations, poor customer service, and loss of market share. Therefore, planning for and implementing a clear strategy for AI integration and enhancement is the cornerstone of leveraging AI effectively in the corporate world.

An established strategy serves as a roadmap toward AI goals and objectives. Before implementing AI in any form, it’s essential to have a strategy that your team can refer to identify which problems need solving and what are the desired outcomes.

Once the strategy is in place, it’s also important to prioritize compatibility by choosing tools and platforms that can seamlessly integrate with a company’s existing technology stack. Gradual implementation to minimize disruption is the key to success. By evaluating existing processes and providing a direction for AI initiatives, business leaders can ensure that AI products align with their company’s goals before investing.

Foster a Culture of Experimentation and Learning

A culture of experimentation is necessary for embracing AI innovation, as it encourages teams to explore and experiment with AI technologies, which enhances creativity and learning companywide. When a company enables teams to challenge their processes, think innovatively, and adapt to changing circumstances, they can improve business processes and customer experiences.

Since hiring for AI-related positions is a huge challenge, it’s critical to offer professional development and AI training opportunities to the existing workforce. Employees cannot explore and experiment with AI if they do not have the tools to harness it.

Offering AI training equips employees with technical skills and builds their confidence. With this newfound expertise, employees can experiment with AI-driven solutions more confidently, knowing they have the skills to do so effectively.

AI training also can help bridge the industry knowledge gap and reduce resistance to adoption. Although a projected 300 million jobs will be impacted by AI, this does not mean it will eliminate positions altogether. Therefore, it is important to reassure employees through training that AI is a tool meant to enhance their capabilities, not replace them. This shifts the narrative from fear to opportunity, motivating employees to actively engage with AI technologies and want to learn more.

Invest in AI Innovation and Progress

Investment in AI initiatives, both internally and externally, is a fundamental aspect of AI adoption. This can take various forms, including establishing partnerships with AI experts, hiring skilled professionals to lead AI programs, testing new AI products, and employee training.

The potential return on investment from AI is substantial, with over 70% of professionals seeing a positive ROI and 54% seeing at least a 2x return. Investing in the growth of AI allows business leaders to stay competitive and innovative, optimize operations, create new revenue streams, and enhance customer experiences throughout their companies.

Ultimately, the swift adoption of AI presents incredible opportunities for businesses. However, the journey has challenges, and a well-thought-out approach is essential.

Business leaders who establish a clear AI strategy, foster a culture of experimentation, and make smart investments in AI innovation will be better positioned to harness the full potential of this transformative technology. By doing so, they can drive their organizations toward achieving their business goals, while ensuring that AI is a force for good in the corporate world.

Andrew Larson is chief technology officer of FinQuery (formerly LeaseQuery). He brings over 20 years of experience building software across banking, finance, insurance, e-commerce, aviation, stock and energy trading, weather, and warehouse logistics.

Image: iStock

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