Should AI Be Part of Your Digital Transformation Strategy?

“If an organization’s digital transformation strategy does not already include AI, then there is a real need to revisit the overall approach to transformation, said David Homa, director of the Digital Initiative at Harvard Business School. Technology expertise and knowledge must become foundational to how an organization conceives of, not just executes, its goals. As long as technology is viewed as a tool provided by a supporting team, rather than a lens through which to understand the business and produce value, the organization will limit itself and lag others who integrate technology into the core.”

David Homa, Harvard Business School

Customer Service: How to Balance AI and Automation with Human Touch

“One example of an organisation that has got it right is the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. It deployed AI and automation successfully as part of its customer engagement engine, building over 200 machine learning models with 157 billion data points. This helps the bank anticipate customer needs and decide the ‘next best conversation’ customer service personnel should have with each individual customer in any interaction. Because the customer engagement engine was built in a low-code, model-based design environment, the bank can easily adapt and finetune processes over time to improve customer service with every interaction. During the initial lockdown period, the bank saw a 500% spike in usage of their ‘benefits finder’ helping customers understand what they are entitled to, and they were able to quickly change communications strategies both outbound and dealing with inbound.” Launches Strategic Advisory Board of Consumer Products, Retail, and Technology Veterans CEO Craig Silverman [Photo: Courtesy]
  • “Frisco-based, a provider of SaaS artificial intelligence solutions for forecasting and merchandising, has formed a Strategic Advisory Board made up of some of the most experienced executives in the consumer products, retail, and technology industries.
  • Today, some big names are deploying the Software-as-a-Service technology: Pepsico, Neiman Marcus, JCPenney, and Philips.” Launches Strategic Advisory Board of Consumer Products, Retail, and Technology Veterans

A Startup Raises $11 Million Using Zoom, A Ransomware Maker Gives Money To Charity…And Other Small Business Tech News

“Small businesses are shifting to e-commerce and social media.

A recent survey conducted by Chase Ink asked small businesses to share the changes they have had to make in order to handle the obstacles brought on by COVID-19. 64% of participants said that the changes made in 2020 will continue into next year. The majority of changes made centered around businesses moving to digital processes and 35% of small businesses believe that the obstacles brought on by the coronavirus would have resulted in permanent closures had they not moved business online. 48% of participants said that their use of social media has become vital in their surviving the pandemic. (Source: WWD)”

AI Shopping Apps Are Booming—But Can They Change the Way We Consume Fashion?

“The difference with AI-enabled smart apps is that users themselves are impacting what’s presented to them. ‘This is really: We think you’ll like this based on the fact that you gave us these 65 signals that allowed us to kind of figure out what your style is and what your price-point is and what type of fit you might like,’ says Boyle. ‘That level of complexity can’t be handled in the backend of a site, it has to be handled more dynamically by the technology.’”

Photographed by Acielle / Style du Monde