Technology Investment: Go or No Go?

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Artificial intelligence has taken on an exciting path especially after the launch of ChatGPT last November. In less than a year, businesses, schools, and institutions have shown much interest in adopting the chatbot technology. There are three key artificial intelligence chatbot choices today: ChatGPT, Bing Chat and Google Bard. Each works slightly different; has advantages and disadvantages.

For a business leader, it is a challenge to keep up with technology advancements. Where do you invest your time and energy? What would bring the highest return? There is no simple answer. However, there are a few considerations when exploring technologies to optimize business outcomes.

What the technology is good at

Popular technologies might not necessarily be a good fit for a business. What works well for one business might not be relevant for what another business needs. A good starting point is to understand the capabilities and limitations of the technology.

ChatGPT, for instance, is trained to generate text, images and audio. Users have claimed that it has saved them hours from writing related tasks, increasing productivity and freeing up capacity for other work.

However, its knowledge base is limited to September 2021 and does not include events that occurred after that. Subject to the task a business wants ChatGPT to perform, this limitation could affect the quality of the output.

How customers can benefit

Customer touchpoints, whether it is product presentation or repair support call, there is always room for improvement.

Technology that helps to generate personalized product recommendations drives higher customer engagement and conversion. A chatbot that provides customized responses without the need for a live agent reduces cost. Streamlined online experience suits those who prefer to conduct business anytime they want, investment in improving online experience might be most appropriate.

Technology investments that focus on the customers usually generate other benefits such as customer loyalty which has significant influence in social media.

What business transformation technology can effect

Technology can transform how a business operates.

Process automation not only improves efficiency and productivity, it enhances quality of service and minimizes product defects. These boost the bottom-line and more importantly, capacity to scale and grow the business.

On another hand, the right technology could expedite product innovation.

Generative AI can be used to uncover consumer trends and help to generate product design concepts, expediting the product prototyping lifecycle. This reduces demand on human capital and potentially facilitates cross-industry innovation.

How technology facilitates building data asset

Businesses that hold quality data and treat data as a strategy asset have a competitive advantage.

Generative AI technology has proven that it is becoming easier to mine data for insights. Businesses might not need to rely on data scientists or analysts to extract and present insights from data.

The key is to have a framework and proper tools to capture, archive, extract, and analyze data. The more complete and accurate that data are, they provide more poignant insights. Technologies that are easy to implement and use would make life easier.

This goes beyond technical capabilities. Leadership is also essential to guide a shift to a data-driven culture. The mindset shift gets everyone on-board and aligned on building data as a strategic asset.

To summarize, it is not important whether a business is an early adopter or has implemented the latest technology. To drive the technology strategy for a business, it is wise to base decisions on how the technology can address pressing issues, create new business opportunities, and deliver a positive return. Technology investments require careful evaluation, planning and implementation.

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