If you've read any of my posts before you'll notice something: I love a statistic.
Reading this piece earlier I was baffled how despite 46% of CIOs saying they plan to implement AI, only 4% of CIOs have implemented it already.
Why are companies putting off something that Gartner predicts will be in almost every new software product by 2020? Well, the main reason is that AI is still considered futuristic and not yet "mainstream" enough to convince people to start investing serious amounts of money into it.
What should scare companies more is how much AI could cost once it does become mainstream.
For me, this fear mainly comes from wanting to avoid risk.
Might the price of the tech go down? Might something better come along? What if we fail?
As my friend Xavi Herce wrote in a recent post, customers often drift into one of two categories; those rushing into innovation and those dragging their feet.
Both of these parties are set to fail, one will inevitably not be prepared for the change and the other will resist it entirely.
So, how can you be sure that you get a competitive edge with your AI?
Trust the data.
As Jessica Davis highlights in this article, whatever AI solution you select, be that by building it, buying it or outsourcing it, your company's own data will be the distinct difference in outcome. Use your data to indicate if you're ready for the journey into AI or whether there are other parts of the infrastructure that need improving before you start.
If you are buying your AI from SAP or Oracle, and your competitor is buying the same thing from SAP or Oracle, how do you get a competitive edge? Isn't that a pretty level playing field? What's the point? Your data itself will be the real competitive edge going forward. AI solutions will become commoditized. But your data remains proprietary and valuable. Flanagan told me that in almost every meeting he has with customers, executives are recognizing that their data has value, either for internal purposes or for selling to a data partner. That's what the third-party experts are saying, too.