Brand Insights

How to Use AI in Successful Digital Transformations


You know digital transformation is essential, but how can you be sure your strategy for change will move your business in the right direction? How will your initiatives impact one another? Artificial Intelligence can speed up and ease the pressures of digital transformation. Used to full effect as a digital tool for transformation; AI can prove your strategy, test interdependencies, and steer you to success.


A summary of steps to follow before, during and after to help your business gain maximum value from the use of AI in digital transformation.

Most digital transformations do not realise nearly as much value as predicted. In fact, the average digital transformation has a 45% chance of delivering less profit than expected. As experienced digital transformation partners, we are well aware of the common transformation pitfalls, which you can read about in our article where most companies go wrong in digital transformation. But how can you make sure that you’re getting the most value possible for your efforts? According to McKinsey, businesses that successfully transform are more likely to use sophisticated tech such as artificial intelligence. AI can ensure your strategy gets off to the best start and is continuously tested to bring better results and resilience.


The use of AI in digital transformation

The potential for use of AI tools differs according to your sector, products, and services. Up until now, we’ve seen widespread adoption of AI tools within digital marketing, customer services and IT. But there are also strong case uses for engineering, facilities, and operations. Whatever your sector, tech is available or emerging that can bring efficiencies.

For significant impact, use of AI in digital transformation strategies should extend beyond tool adoption. Use the ability of AI combined with data sets and machine learning and you can test transformation initiatives and shape success. Start with a comprehensive audit of your business. If your goal is to stay competitive and continue to attract and retain customers, it’s a big job worth doing.


5 Steps for using AI in Digital Transformation Strategies:

1. Use a framework

A framework helps you to map and visualise digital transformation success for your business. Start by pinpointing your current market position, business challenges, goals, and trends. Explore how AI tools can offer efficiencies or provide personalisation. Think about how you can give your customer an even better experience. Identify goals and how you might achieve them. Use this as a springboard for strategic planning. The result should give a tangible scope of what you need to work on.


2. Simplify with AI

Let’s go back to that transformation value statistic. McKinsey states that well-defined transformation practices mean the likelihood of exceeding profit expectations increases by 50 per cent. AI and machine learning can accelerate research and testing phases. Allowing rapid processing of data for faster and better-informed decision-making. AI can test relationships between change initiatives too.

But that doesn't mean you should make things complicated. In fact, it's best practice to have clear parameters in place. Setting clear and measurable objectives will give a roadmap that’s more realistic and achievable.


3. Use iterations

One of the most significant benefits of using AI in digital transformations is its ability to quickly flag quickly if you're headed down a dead end. Combining agile working with the power of AI allows you to pivot when needed. This might be needed due to a sudden change in the business landscape. Or to adopt more realistic goals based on AI unearthed insights.

Working to shorter milestones and iterations can save you time and money and help you maintain momentum. You can fine-tune as you go. With AI in your corner, you can also protect against internal human bias. AI proves or disproves case use more quickly, saving you resources. Those facts don’t lie.


4. Build a thriving transformation culture

For the best chance of success, you should place customers and colleagues at the core of your transformation. Processing, prediction, and personalisation using AI, enables better service customer's wants and needs. but this must not be at the cost of company culture. Businesses should select experienced employees to lead changes. Transformation is likely to impact throughout an organisation.

For successful change management, leaders must model a positive approach. They also need to empower lower-level employees to be part of, and to understand, the adoption of AI and other tools. Everyone needs to be part of the wider transformation.

Give clear ownership and responsibility for different tasks or tool implementation as part of this. The use of AI may impact parts of the workforce more than others, and the insight of workers on the ground holds great value. For success, roadmap a transparent process, put experienced leaders in charge of initiatives. Provide training and monitor the change curve. Everyone needs to be in step to maintain momentum and remove barriers to transformation.


5. Resource and scale

Steps 1-4 should have given you a solid roadmap for scaling change and directing resources based on your original purpose. For successful digital transformation beyond implementation, you need to keep a pulse on those initial objectives. Make sure you re-visit them at regular intervals.

You’ll also need to remain market responsive. Suppose your business is rolling out initiatives over several years. In that case, AI tools may continue to be fed data to fuel self-learning, continuing to help you predict outcomes, adapt strategies, and build resilience.


From experience, we know that gaining the most from digital transformation often means adopting a new mindset and committing to significant cultural changes. AI can provide insights that allow you to road test rapidly and have digital culture. But businesses also need to commit to internal change.