Artificial intelligence remains one of the hottest points of discussion in today’s market, but far too often conversations surrounding it are restrained to the corporate arena. As many small business owners are coming to realize, artificial intelligence isn’t just for those firms in the Fortune 500 – indeed, small firms can benefit from AI too, and by properly leveraging machine learning solutions, you can optimize your operations while seriously cutting down on your costs of doing business.
Here’s how you can leverage AI for success in the 21st century, and the key missteps you should learn to avoid.
There’s never been a better time to invest in AI
Before we begin reviewing how small firms can utilize machine learning algorithms in today’s market, it’s worth reviewing the current state of AI investment to gain some context on what the future has in store for modern businesses. Worldwide spending on artificial intelligence systems has been skyrocketing in recent years, with some expecting AI spending to reach a massive $46 billion by 2020 alone. Clearly, now is the time to invest in AI – so, where should small firms begin?
The first thing that smaller businesses should understand is that AI isn’t some miracle technology that will singlehandedly revolutionize your business; you’ll need a savvy team of human employees capable of leveraging machine learning solutions if you’re to have any real success in the long-term. Because of that, business owners and managers of small firms should begin studying up on how to assemble their AI-dream team, which will prove crucial towards your business’ continued competitiveness as more firms in your industry adopt machine learning solutions themselves.
Some small businesses can’t hope to bring on too many more team members, however. Does that mean that they should be locked out of the AI revolution? Of course not; for those small firms incapable of bringing on a deluge of new, AI-savvy employees, AI outsourcing is likely the key to remaining relevant in the rapidly changing marketplace of today. Leading research from the likes of Deliotte and others illustrates just how vital robotic process automation will become in the forthcoming years, and small firms that aren’t willing to develop their own AI teams and infrastructure should seriously start studying up on AI outsourcing if they home to remain productive and attractive to future clients.
With everything we’ve covered thus far taken into consideration, it’s easy to see that artificial intelligence is rapidly moving away from the screens of Hollywood and becoming a practical part of our everyday lives. Still, many small firms are struggling when it comes to dealing with these machine learning solutions, particularly when it comes to automation, and many business owners live in fear of the unknown machines that will soon come to dominate their industries, desperately in need of accounting hw help. Is there reason to believe the AI-dominated future will be bleak for small businesses?
AI is the great equalizer
While established corporate behemoths like Microsoft and Alphabet are channeling huge sums of money into the development of the latest AI-driven business solutions, that doesn’t mean that small firms everywhere are going to permanently lose out thanks to these new technologies. The rapidly forthcoming age of AI will indeed cost some people their jobs; the natural ebb and flow of the workspace necessarily means that new, cost-cutting technologies will come to replace inefficient workers. Still, when properly leveraged, AI can become a great equalizer in the market of tomorrow, and could soon be relied upon by small firms everywhere to compete against larger corporate entities.
Machine learning solutions are incredibly disruptive, and the hottest tech today could become totally obsolete tomorrow thanks to new, fresher innovations. That’s why it’s crucial for the owners of small firms to keep up to date with the latest AI developments, lest they be caught off guard and suffer the business consequences of not having the most innovative tools for the job available to them.
Check out the myriad of ways in which small businesses everywhere can come to embrace AI, and you’ll already be starting down the proper path towards a successful future where your business remains up to date and competitive. You don’t have to have a degree in computer science to understand the latest AI trends; merely keep your eye on the big picture, particularly as it pertains to employment and automation, and you’ll be set to master the robotic future our market is rapidly hurtling towards.
Are you still scared about artificial intelligence? Don’t be; while this technology is new to many older business owners, and stands to seriously disrupt modern ways of doing business, it will largely be a net positive for our economy, and will help small firms everywhere thrive against established tech competitors that have maintained a monopoly on the latest gadgets for far too long.
Gary Eastwood is a CPA licensed senior accountant from Seattle, Washington. He received his CPA license from the Washington State Board of Accountancy in 2001 before relocating to Onawa, Iowa in 2008. Over more than 15 years of accounting experience, Gary has worked with multinational health service providers and independent CPA firms. He has a proven ability in dealing with business clients from a variety of backgrounds as well as leading companies to greater efficiency and profitability. He is familiar with both US GAAP and China GAAP.