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With the rise in automation, artificial intelligence (AI) is firmly crossing into everyday business use. A Harvard Business Review survey of 250 executives shows 75% of them believe their companies will be transformed by artificial intelligence in the workplace within the next three years. With this fast-paced adoption of technological trends, businesses need to stay agile to compete.

Companies are tapping into AI to automate business processes, gain insight through data analysis, and engage with employees and customers. AI is steadily infiltrating the reengineering of existing business process systems to improve productivity, efficiency and profits.

With these benefits up for grabs, companies have looked for new and innovative ways to apply artificial intelligence in the workplace. AI is making a mark in both operational and strategic business processes, allowing companies to make advances in capability, efficiency and productivity. Here are some examples of how AI is pushing businesses into the future:

1. AI in customer service

Virtual customer assistants have become a big trend in customer service operations. Why? Because these virtual assistants or 'chatbots' can provide real-time support to users 24/7. While they don't replace a human customer service representative, they can head off common queries and issues quickly and efficiently.

Logged on to Netflix lately and noticed a whole bunch of content tailored to your preferences for British baking shows or true-crime documentaries? That's because AI can also be used to predict all sorts of things like entertainment, merchandise, places, etc - ultimately making the customer experience more personalised and relevant. 

2. Human Resources leverages AI

Traditionally recruiters would manually sort through mountains of resumes and cover letters to find candidates with the right qualities, background and experience. Enter AI, where machines can learn which past hiring practices worked well (and which didn't), what types of communication appeal to candidates, find leads in unexpected places and quickly sort out which candidates have the right work history and qualifications for a role. 

AI can also help HR by identifying anomalies, verifying details and providing a more personalised experience for current employees. 

3. Marketing, advertising, sales and AI

McKinsey tells us that some of the greatest potential impacts of artificial intelligence in the workplace lie in functions like marketing and sales. Some of the ways AI is already being used include:

  • Effectively tracking user behaviour and improving targeting (think: Facebook Ads)
  • Automating routine and repetitive marketing or sales tasks
  • Optimising prices by taking into account seasonal changes, popularity and location information

Looking at sales, AI can be used as a tool to review large datasets from several sources and tell you which leads you should prioritise, based on impartial scores or rankings. 

4. AI is revolutionising data management and analytics

AI is a powerful tool to mine and interpret data efficiently and effectively, allowing you to gain meaningful insight across your business processes. 

In a Qualtrics study, 96% of 250 marketing leaders said they expect AI to handle routine and repetitive tasks like data cleaning within the next five years. Further to that, 63% believe AI will handle statistical analysis within the next 10 years. 

With AI taking over advanced techniques which used to be out of budget for small to medium-sized businesses, it is making data analysis much more useful and meaningful for all businesses, regardless of size. Some of the ways AI is handling data and analysis already include optimising logistics, increasing output and efficiency, post-data-analysis, preventing outages by detecting and identifying patterns that are likely to disrupt business, predicting performance and behaviours, and automating workloads through smart algorithms.

Artificial intelligence has officially left the movie screen and made it into 'business as usual'. From Gmail's Smart Compose feature to Under Armor leveraging IBM's Watson to create a fitness tracking app, AI has firmly taken its place in the modern business. With the potential to promote greater efficiency, productivity and output, plus mitigate interruptions and help boost revenue, AI in the workplace is here to stay.

More and more companies are taking advantage of business automation to remove the human requirement to complete small repetitive tasks and replace it with systems that can do this for them - saving money and time. Whether you're looking to scale up or diversify your business, automation can help you create efficiencies, support future growth and add value to your organisation. Download our guide, Business Automation: How it generates value and supports growth, to learn more.