How to Get Started With AI to Demonstrate Business Value In Months

Author: Maana Marketing
How to Get Started With AI to Demonstrate Business Value In Months

Part 1: Common Best Practices in Using Artificial Intelligence for Successful Digitalization

We hear plenty about digitalization, but often companies use different approaches and technologies to achieve digitalization.  Some companies have great success and demonstrate business value in the first six months, while others struggle to deliver value after investing millions of dollars over many months. To effectively leverage AI, companies must quickly create AI-enabled applications that automate tasks or augment human decision-making.

Fortune 500 companies making the fastest progress in digitalization are those whose CEO and Board have made AI-driven digitization a key strategic imperative. These companies, committed from the top down, are rapidly gaining a strategic advantage in their industries based on AI-driven initiatives within three main areas:

  • Automation: The automotive industry, for example, is pursuing AI for both factory automation as well as autonomous vehicles.
  • Edge Computing: One example is BP using drones to remotely monitor high-value, high-risk assets, such as offshore platforms.
  • Augmented Human Decision-Making: Maersk and Shell leverage AI to provide recommendations into the operations that have the biggest impact on the gross margins of the company, by enabling subject-matter experts to make better and faster decisions.

Maana is working with some of the most innovative industrial companies in the world. Many in our customer base—including Airbus, Maersk, Shell, and Chevron—have made digitalization a strategic imperative using AI and analytics. Their focus is to help their most valuable employees, such as drilling engineers or logistics experts, make better decisions around high-impact operations like logistics and contingency management, or exploration and drilling. Our customers have identified anywhere from 100 to 400 operations and decisions that, when improved with AI, will increase gross margins anywhere from $1 billion to $5 billion annually.

We see much in common among these large industrial companies working toward digitalization, especially the appointment of a Chief Digital Officer (CDO). These executives are tasked with building an ecosystem of business value around AI and analytics, which are often comprised of the following:

  • An internal team responsible for optimization initiatives; the team is primarily led by subject-matter experts, who collaborate with data science and analytics experts.
  • An internal analytics team or a Systems Integrator (SI) partner to augment the internal team.
  • A stack of best-of-breed digital technologies, typically hosted in the cloud by Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud.
  • A digital knowledge layer on top of operational data scattered across the enterprise that shows the relationships and interdependencies between various operational entities. Those entities are key drivers of operations, such as ships, cargo types, ports, customer contractual agreements, etc.

CDOs who successfully deliver value from AI typically form a close partnership with line-of-business executive sponsors, such as the Head of Logistics in Transportation or the VP of Drilling at an oil company. Often, the business executive sponsor identifies 2-3 operations that have the most potential for both AI-enabled improvement and biggest business value. The CDO and sponsor then partner with a best-of-breed AI software company that provides user-friendly software for employees of the company. Ultimately, this internal partnership, coupled with the right software, will enable the company to demonstrate business value in fewer than 6 months. The first use cases easily demonstrate the opportunity for additional operations that can be optimized, as each operation often impacts several other operations in the value chain.

In the next part of this blog post, we’ll take a more detailed look at how successful industrial companies leverage AI to lead their digitalization efforts.



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