30 Nov AI For Business FAQ
Questions & Topics
Our subject matter experts answer the most commonly asked questions.
AI isn’t just one thing. It’s an umbrella term, a category of technologies and techniques¹ that encompasses a wide array of capabilities and that attempts to address a wide range of use cases. For example, while predicting customer churn, facial recognition, and robotic process automation are all legitimately “AI”, they represent three very different capabilities and AI techniques.
¹ As a handy reference, Wikipedia has an excellent and exhaustive glossary of AI terminology and concepts at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_artificial_intelligence
Three recent advancements have pushed AI to the forefront:
- Supporting technologies and computing power have progressed to make AI techniques achievable and widely applicable for business and consumer needs.
- As AI techniques have evolved and become more powerful and accessible, new and novel use cases have been identified. Uber doesn’t exist without a brilliant idea and AI to make it a reality.
- Most importantly, today’s digital environment generates vast amounts of readily and quickly available data that, in turn, power and enable AI solutions.
AI projects share many familiar failure points with non-AI projects – scope creep, insufficient or missing requirements, unrealistic timelines, insufficient resources, lack of user input, inadequate testing, insufficient communication and training, lack of user adoption, insufficient post-implementation support, and many more. While these are all important concerns, AI projects are most susceptible to:
- Unrealistic expectations – When addressing some business challenges, AI can be extremely powerful, but its not magic. Businesses should carefully evaluate potential value and costs before making an investment.
- Unanticipated costs – AI investment requirements extend far beyond technology and implementation. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of data infrastructure; data acquisition(internal and external); ongoing testing, validation, and retraining; careful curation of data/model/result sets; compliance requirements for explainability and ethical behavior; and change readiness, stakeholder management, communications, training, and reinforcement.
- Solution viability – Of all failure points, solution viability is perhaps the most ambiguous and critical. For some business problems, AI just isn’t a viable approach.
- User acceptance – The premise and promise of AI means that some people’s jobs are going to change. When users can’t accept and support the changes that AI brings, projects fail.
Business Process Outsourcing is the short and direct path to getting the support services you need without the investment, time commitment, and risk of hiring and training internal resources. By investing instead in BPO, you get:
- Enhanced Business Focus – Lose the distraction—focus your expertise and resources on your core business.
- Repeatable Processes – Leverage Access Sciences’ broad industry experience.
- Improved Quality – Expertise can’t be overrated. Our BPO resources bring targeted expertise in their fields and we back that up with tangible service level agreements.
- Headcount Management – Transfer the burden and risk of headcount management to us.
- Oversight Relief – Lessen the burden of oversight with a single point of accountability
- Increased Accountability – Our BPO services are provided via binding contracts with legal redress.
- Operational Expertise – Benefit from industry best practices, shared across our BPO operations.
- Exceptional Talent – Gain access to Access Sciences’ sustainable, high-quality talent pool, backstopped by our entire company’s knowledge and experience base.
Some people call this managed services and others call it business process outsourcing. What that really means is that you’re hiring an outside firm to fulfill a business function for you.
No, all of Access Sciences’ BPO operations are located in the U.S. In fact, many of our BPO operations are co-located at the client’s site and function as an embedded part of their overall organization.
There are generally two alternatives to outsourcing business processes: using internal resources (employees) and using resources from staffing agencies. While internal resources may deliver quality results, these can be a distraction from focus on your core business and make it difficult to manage headcount during the ups and downs of business cycles. When using a generic staffing agency, accountability for quality results typically ends once resources have been placed.
Our BPO resources strike an optimum balance between loaded labor cost savings, headcount management, accountability, quality, and expertise.
Explanations & Definitions
General resources to aid in information gathering.