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Navigating the AI Minefield: The Prerequisites to AI Deployment 

Executive Wants and Executive Needs are often Two Different Things

July 31, 2023 | 3 Minute Read

Welcome, fearless pioneers of the AI frontier! As a trusted sherpa of technology, we've heard your battle cry - "Let's do AI things!" echo across the boardrooms, LinkedIn, even coffee shops! While we absolutely applaud your enthusiasm, we do have one small, ever-so-minor recommendation to offer: let's take a step back before taking a leap forward. 

Here are three things you need to have under your belt before you charge ahead into the AI revolution. 

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1. Data Strategy - Your Source of Truth 

In the data world, location matters. We're not talking about beachfront properties or an office with a view, but the whereabouts of your data. Is it accessible? Is it clean? Is it up to date? Having a data strategy means understanding where your business's "source of truth" lies. Just like finding out that your favorite fast food joint's secret sauce is really just Thousand Island dressing, understanding your data carries immense value. Before you begin running experiments, be sure to align your outcomes with the actual business to ensure relevance and accuracy. 

2. Governance - Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold 

Many companies have a binary approach to governance. It's either a complete lockdown, where not even a byte can flutter in the wind, or it's the Wild West, where tumbleweeds and unregulated data dance together. Remember, you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. Before you allow your data to roam free, consider if there's any PII involved. What about compliance issues? Sensitive IP? Let's not play Russian Roulette with our company's reputation, shall we? 

3. Business Value - No 'R', Only 'I' 

Having information without taking action is like being the richest person in the graveyard - pointless. If you have a result, what would you do with it? What are the business decisions it would inform? That's where you figure out your success measures and ROI. Like a personal trainer with your New Year's resolution, let's ensure there's less 'I' and more 'R' in our ROI. 

Got it? Good. 

Lost? Understandable 

Let's begin our journey not with 'doing ALL THE AI things' but by understanding the real business value that you aim to achieve. Improving’s approach starts with tailor-made workshops for executives. This will enable us to embark on a journey of business case discovery, aligning your AI aspirations with tangible business outcomes. Here, we'll address your 'R' and your 'I', determine the 'how' of setting up suitable experiments, and lay out actionable solutions. 

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Once we've identified the business cases that need to be addressed, we'll help plan the move forward to governance. This is, most appropriately, not a blanket application; instead, it will be finely tuned and scoped to the identified business cases only. The governance should particularly focus on privacy, security, and guidance. This approach ensures that each case receives the proper attention it needs, aiding you to experiment with enhanced certainty and reduced apprehension.

After establishing the governance strategy, you can dive into a detailed review of your systems that are critical to the experiment business case. This assessment will help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your current digital landscape. 

These steps all culminate in a unified data strategy for the experiments. This strategy will serve as a roadmap for identifying impacted data sources, helping to establish a sturdy foundation for your AI endeavors. 

By adopting this measured and methodical approach to AI, the journey becomes as fruitful as the anticipated destination. Hence, we ensure that before the commencement of spending huge amounts of time and money on AI experiments, we are fully prepared for the adventure that awaits us. 

Improving is hosting several CxO AI workshops and you can be a part of them! Reach out to us to learn more.


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