Importance of Cybersecurity in the Era of AI-

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly making its way into every kind of business. With a futuristic allure and countless opportunities at the tip of your fingers, AI can provide a variety of opportunities for businesses.

However, with any new technology, some questions about what it means for your employees might surface. When AI is used as a tool rather than as the standard, it can provide more benefits to your business than it does challenges. 

Keep reading to learn more about how AI can intersect with your business and what challenges and opportunities you might face. 

How Do AI and Business Intersect? 

AI plays whatever role you want it to play. Depending on your business, what services or products you offer, and the size of your company, you can use AI in different capacities. The beauty of AI is that it is smart enough to assist you with some business functions while still under your control. 

“Everywhere you look, people are finding ways to implement AI into their business strategy. In order to keep up with everyone around you, AI might be the next tool you budget for in your next quarter,” says Jim Mitchell, Chief Growth Officer of Awesome CX by Transcom, a company known for their innovative customer experience solutions

As time passes and your business grows, you need to be able to adapt to new technologies and figure out where they could fit in your business.

Is AI Really Worth It?

As with any new technology, there might be some concerns about the legitimacy or relevance of implementing AI into your business operations. You might be wondering if AI is even worth it. You’ll find that when it’s utilized correctly, it can have a major impact on your business. 

“I think the benefits of AI have outweighed the risks in the past years. But this doesn’t mean there aren’t any downsides to the technology. In my opinion, we can deal with many of these possible risks of AI if we keep in mind its significant benefits,” writes Tyler Weitzman, President and Head of AI at Speechify. 

Be prepared to look at the opportunities and challenges AI can bring to your business. Once you more clearly understand how your business can use AI, it’ll be easier to explain to your employees and implement it into your strategy.  

What Are the Opportunities for AI in Business?

Before you start using AI for your business, it’s best to understand both sides of the argument for and against AI. 

In general, the opportunities AI can bring to your business will outweigh the challenges. This is because AI should be personalized to your business’s needs; it’s not meant to control your business or employees. You’re still in charge and can decide where and when to use AI. 

1. AI Chatbots

You may not even realize when you message a business with questions or concerns, you are often chatting with AI. Many chatbots use AI algorithms to get basic information from inquiries and solve problems without human interaction. 

“A human doesn’t need to collect names, dates of birth, email addresses, or account numbers. These are all tasks that AI can ask, log, and then use to help develop solutions. If AI can’t come up with a solution, you are redirected to a live assistant,” shares Francesco Gatti, CEO of Opensend

The initial conversation provides your business with the information needed to assist with the next steps, and when the algorithm runs out of solutions, an employee is brought on. This saves time for your employees and gives them the baseline of information they’ll need to help out. 

2. Collect and Analyze Data

Human error is one of the unavoidable problems that businesses experience. It’s often easily fixed, but operations might run more smoothly if you could do without it. When collecting and analyzing data, this kind of issue happens more often than a business might intend

“Depending on what kind of data you’re going through, it can be more beneficial to program AI to categorize and summarize the information you’re looking at. AI can run reports with a click of a button, and you can filter your data to get extremely specific and detailed summaries,” explains Natalia Kuvelas, Marketing Manager of Custom Goods.

You can use AI to track your progress and see where your business needs more focus easily and as frequently as you want. Whether you use this function daily or monthly, it can be a great way to keep an oversight of your operations. 

3. Improving Business Operations

Another benefit of AI for your business is how it can assist your daily operations. From tracking inventory, checking out website analytics, and identifying customer satisfaction levels, you can clearly see what you’re doing well and what you can work on.

“AI allows you to streamline operations so you can become more functional and efficient in your work. For instance, instead of manually sifting through data, AI website analytics tools can scan and analyze user behavior, providing insights into areas of abundance or scarcity, helping you make informed decisions for a more impactful digital presence,” says Raja Subramanian, GM of Power Wizard.

How you program AI to help your business will depend on what tasks need efficient and accurate work. It might be best to brainstorm with your team about what the collective believes could be the most impactful use of AI.

4. Technology Maintenance

Before you know your computers and software need updates, AI can diagnose the problem and then act on it. If there is a problem with someone’s device, AI can detect that problem before it surfaces.

“Scheduled maintenance will continue, but that doesn’t mean your devices won’t need updates or work randomly throughout the year. You can program AI to alert you to potential problems and give solutions on how to solve them,” shares Roman Peysakhovich, CEO of Cleango.

Your technical team is incredible. However, they can’t predict problems before they happen, and AI can. This tool can help your IT department make their lives a bit easier, coming up with possible solutions and helping implement them. Plus, this frees them up to focus their energy where a human touch is really needed.

5. Targeted Marketing Strategies

AI can create content and text, analyze your website metrics, and understand your audience to boost your marketing strategy. AI has a lot of benefits in the marketing department, including scheduling posts, sending out targeted ads, and enhancing your SEO functionality. 

“All of those ads you see that feel extremely spot-on are because of AI’s ability to understand what kind of person would most benefit from a business’s services,” explains Cody Candee, Founder and CEO of Bounce. “It also helps businesses understand who they are reaching and gives them ideas about expanding their audience.”

Marketing is essential in today’s day of online shopping and searching. With AI, you can plug algorithms that will lead you toward the people who are most likely to use and reuse your services. 

What Are the Challenges of AI?

Not everyone is ready for AI to infiltrate their business. Many questions arise when thinking about artificial intelligence; it can be intimidating to think of a robot coming in and taking your job. However, when used properly and with good intentions, AI is merely a tool to assist the human experience, not overrule it. 

1. Financial Expense of AI

AI software isn’t necessarily affordable to all. People who run small businesses might not find that there are enough benefits to go through with purchasing the proper programming. 

“Big companies have an easier time implementing AI because they have the excess funds to give it a try. If you can figure out the value it would bring to your business, it becomes worth it,” says Maggie Brown, Founder and CEO of Recess Pickleball.

Until AI becomes more affordable, it might only be something larger companies can utilize. If it’s not in your budget, and you can’t try it out, you’ll never figure out what good it can do for your business.  

2. Displacement of Humans

Another valid concern about AI is its ability to perform tasks that are otherwise only performed by humans. People worry that AI will take their jobs, but this is not the case when it’s used properly. 

“CEOs that implement AI want to do so to take some of the burden off of their employees’ shoulders. AI aims to help employees do tasks that take up precious time. You could never replace your workforce with AI; it wouldn’t work how you think it would,” shares Andrew Chen, Chief Product Officer of CommentSold, a company that specializes in Shopify live selling.

AI is used as a tool in multiple departments and can be a real benefit for people who are overwhelmed with all the tasks they need to complete. Think of it as an assistant rather than a competitor. 

3. Data and Security

Putting data into AI’s hands might bring up concerns about data privacy and security breaches. However, AI is often encrypted and uses multiple methods to protect data and alert the business to any unusual behavior that might compromise data. 

“The more data collected, the higher the risk of a breach. When AI is looking over all of your data, you may be worried about it becoming compromised. When working with any kind of data, the threat of a breach is always there. The difference is AI can also be programmed to keep an eye out for these kinds of breaches to stop them before they happen,” advises Asker A Ahmed, Director of iProcess Global Research.

Talk about AI with your IT team to understand better how to protect your data from potential breaches. Invest in programming that protects your business, and the likelihood of problems occurring dwindles.  

4. Bias and Discrimination

There is still so much to learn about AI and the programming of algorithms. While AI can help during the hiring process, the fear that algorithms also pick up on bias brings forth the issue of discrimination.

“AI has a mind of its own — to some degree. With that comes the fear of racial, gender, and sexual discrimination. When using AI, the purpose is not to double-check all of its choices but to trust it’s working. When it comes to sensitive topics like discrimination, it’s up to you as a business owner to make sure that doesn’t happen, and you can’t always rely on AI,” says Kevin Miller, Founder of kevinmiller.com.

In these instances, you might opt out of using AI, specifically for hiring purposes. You risk losing out on great applicants if your algorithm isn’t perfect. 

5. Lack of In-House Experience 

Lastly, one of the main challenges of AI is that it’s so new that not everyone is aware of how it works or can help to program it into a business. It becomes its own department that even IT experts might not have all the knowledge about. 

“To overcome [the lack of in-house expertise], invest in training, collaborate with experts, hire AI talent, start small with pilot projects, and use user-friendly AI tools. Building internal expertise is key to successful AI adoption,” says Nic DeAngelo, President and Founder of Saint Investment.

If you want to use AI in your business, you need to keep everyone using it up-to-date on how it works and what your goals in using it are. This is something you need to budget for, alongside obtaining the programming. 

Choose How Your Business Uses AI

AI isn’t for everyone, but there are ways to use it to benefit your business. You might not want to let it overpower your business, but if you can utilize it, it can make certain functions a lot easier. 

Luckily, you get to choose how you use AI in your business. Helping your employees and streamlining certain tasks will allow you to focus your energy on expanding in the next year of your business. 

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