Thought Leadership

Riding the AI Wave: 6 Ways to Develop and Evolve Your AI Strategy

May 9, 2024
riding the ai wave

Editor’s Note: Abhinav Dua, one of this blog post’s co-authors, recently spoke about “Collaborative Skills for Human-AI Synergy,” at TMRE’s AI & Tech Summit. Watch the panel discussion on demand here.

Picture a surfer, waiting for the perfect wave. From afar, the surfer looks to move with easy balance and seems to know exactly where to go–even when the waves get huge, or choppy.

In the ocean of tech, businesses today find themselves riding a transformative wave of Artificial Intelligence (AI). But how do you know how to traverse the waters, or time the wave? Businesses need to navigate the AI revolution with precision, staying balanced as they craft and execute their strategy in this fast-and-ever-evolving world.

At Escalent, we help organizations navigate industry disruptions and translate human behavior into action, guiding strategic decisions on how and when to best invest in technology opportunities, both as adopters and creators.

Here are six ways you can take charge of the swells and confidently tread the waters of AI:

Know Your “Why” Before Adopting AI

Much like a surfer assessing the waves before committing to the ride, businesses must be clear on their intent for adopting AI. Peer pressure or fear of losing to competitors should not be the sole driver of your adoption of AI. Approaching AI with an impact-driven mindset helps you, your employees, partners, and customers get the most out of it, since setting a successful AI strategy needs meticulous planning, adequate resources, and a strong awareness of your north star. As global markets and AI evolve, and businesses bet on big decisions, Escalent can help you understand the AI landscape and its intended benefits and unintended consequences. We work with you to answer, “Why AI?”

Start Small to Grow Big For AI Business Strategy

Overinvesting in AI without adequate due diligence or controlled proofs-of-concept (POC) may leave businesses overwhelmed and out of breath. AI adoption is not just about getting access to tools and tech, it requires a strong understanding of AI’s potential, limitations, and risks – and how it fits into your industry and organization. Escalent, with its understanding of the tech landscape and industry verticals, can serve as your guide on the best use cases and timing. Additionally, Escalent provides AI consulting on success factors to consider and pitfalls to avoid from industry peers and cross-category experts who are leading the AI journey.

Good Tools Make All the Difference in AI Research

Businesses need to consider the build vs. buy debate and long-term AI integration questions and strategies. This involves aligning AI initiatives with overall business imperatives (going back to “Know Your Why”), fostering a culture of strategic and tech-enabled innovation, and formulating and socializing best practices as AI is folded into the technologies already in use. Businesses must also contemplate upfront and ongoing investments and resources when considering buying external or building in-house tools. With Escalent’s technology and market research expertise, we can assist you in crafting tailored AI tech strategies and in determining your best partners and enablers.

Build Momentum Fast in an AI Landscape

Recognizing the need for early AI adoption and aligning their AI strategy with thoughtful use cases will be key to taking the lead in building new products and fostering consumer trust. However, getting to that position requires building momentum fast, upleveling in-house skills, democratizing AI access and adoption, and partnering with others. Escalent can help businesses connect with customers, employees, and partners to uncover key AI insights, understand adoption journeys, and get you there more quickly.

Managing Security for Success as AI Evolves

Businesses need to build a robust technology stack and strong data and process hygiene to ride the AI wave successfully. This involves a deep understanding of the ethical, confidentiality, privacy, and security concerns associated with AI—and equipping your customers and employees with AI guidelines, so they are empowered to use AI-enabled products and tools. Ensuring safe, transparent, responsible, and ethical use of AI is essential to fostering mutual trust and shedding adoption inhibitions. Escalent’s team of AI and industry-specific regulatory experts can offer you a unique perspective on thoughtful, safe, and timely adoption of this increasingly relevant technology.

Plan to Grow and Change as Part of the AI Revolution

As AI technology evolves and matures, businesses too need to evolve and adapt. This could entail expansion to all promising use cases, cross-functional collaboration, and monetization of AI technology as customers become aware of and interested in the benefits it provides. No strategy or plan of action is future-proof, as AI is just beginning; however, an informed look at the plausible future can offer insights for a competitive edge. Escalent can support you with cutting-edge competitive intelligence and trendspotting, as well as future-gazing to help you win in the fast-paced and fluctuating world of AI.

With AI awareness and usage building momentum across industries, it is becoming clear that proactively assessing, evaluating, and incorporating AI where relevant is key to competitive advantage for many organizations. However, staring down the wave of the constant change that AI brings can be daunting. In order to successfully navigate this new environment, it is helpful to break down the evaluation process into its key components, i.e., the business use cases and needs for new tools and technology, the extent of need to start with, key tools that are integration-ready, in-house skill development, and security management. Additionally, it is important to understand the trajectory of growth a business wishes to pursue and consider the future impact of growing with a new technology.

Escalent provides AI consulting services and supports organizations by developing a custom plan of action based on specific industry, organizational, and customer needs. We know these are complex topics in a difficult-to-understand landscape, and we can help you translate human and market behaviors into actionable insights for success.

If you’d like to learn more about how our tech team guides clients through disruption, click the button below to contact us.

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Yvonna Skrinnik
Senior Insights Manager

Yvonna Skrinnik is a Senior Insights Manager in the Technology division of Escalent. She is a domain expert across a variety of industries and audiences in the emerging tech space and helps clients by developing and executing research that delivers creative and innovative solutions for complex problems to support business strategy and informed decision-making. Yvonna is passionate about human-centered design and research, enabling her to determine best-fit methodologies, listen to customers and engage in strategic thinking. She holds bachelor degrees in economics and human-computer interaction engineering, with a minor in entrepreneurship from the University of Washington. Based in Phoenix, Yvonna enjoys road trips and hiking with her partner and chihuahua.

Abhinav Dua
SVP, Head of AI & Secondary Productization

Abhinav is SVP, Head of AI & Secondary Productization. A seasoned strategy consultant and researcher with 16 years of experience, Abhinav has led delivery excellence and consultative insights for Tech-Media-Telecom and Business Process Insights (80+ researchers and consultants) at Escalent. His expertise spans multiple domains (enterprise & consumer tech; media and consumer internet; telecommunications), solutions (unlock growth opportunities; gauge customer pulse; and monetize data/process assets), and methodologies (desk research; social media listening; primary qualitative research; operational analytics; alternative data; and future casting). In his current role, Abhinav is unearthing synergies between human and AI efforts across research and consulting workflows, determining the best use cases and tool bets and ensuring strategic adoption, integration & productization of AI. Simultaneously, Abhinav is productizing existing and conceptualizing new secondary research solutions, while exploring the inevitable cusp of secondary research and AI. Abhinav holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, India, and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from NSIT, New Delhi.