As customer expectations continue to intensify in an increasingly competitive environment, companies can stay ahead of the curve only by adopting the latest and best that digitalization has to offer. For those frenziedly pursuing a digital transformation agenda, artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to positively impact the way they do business.
A new commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Appier shows that AI has a critical role to play in accelerating digital transformation in Asia Pacific (APAC). Companies are well aware of the powerful insights that AI can generate. More importantly, they are testing how they can use AI to transform their business models and enhance experience across the entire customer life cycle.
The June 2018 study surveyed 260 business and IT leaders across eight markets (Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, China, India, Australia and Indonesia) who are directly responsible for technology purchasing decisions.
Covering the key industries of telecom, insurance, banking, IT and retail, the study threw up some interesting insights on how companies perceive AI’s role within their businesses.
Some of the key benefits that companies are expecting by using AI tools are:
- Easily discover relevant prospects, and boost chances of conversion
- Improve customer interaction using deep insights into customer behavior
- Maximize customer value, offer an enhanced user experience and improve customer loyalty
- Optimize the marketing mix to improve ROI
- Personalize digital experiences
Streamline Operations and Offer an Enhanced Customer Experience With AI
In a customer-obsessed world, 71 percent of respondents were surprisingly clear that AI would primarily help them improve efficiency of operations, while 59 percent spoke of improved scalability.
Respondents also expect that AI will improve the digital customer experience by helping companies deliver smarter and more personalized service. More than half of them expect that AI will help better predict customer behavior better and 45 percent are convinced of the deep consumer insights they can gain.
Investment in AI is Still Nascent
Yet, the study found that when it comes to investing in AI technologies, companies in the region are still in the nascent stage. Most respondents are investing in data management technologies and platforms in a bid to first build a strong base for future digital growth and their AI journeys.
For instance, 61 percent of respondents are investing in enhancing their data security and privacy capabilities while 57 percent are investing in data cataloguing solutions for analytics. Only around half of the surveyed companies are investing in AI solutions that improve customer view across digital channels and even less are using insights to build data-driven AI applications.
The reason for this seems to be the challenges APAC firms face around gathering and integrating big data, as well as building the right predictive analytics platform for their needs. While these challenges demand that firms invest in data management technologies, an insufficient focus on core-AI technologies such as computer vision and natural language processing could cause AI adoption to slow down.
Prioritizing Business Objectives to Build Relevant AI Journeys
Investment may be slow in coming but companies are already building their business plans based on what they hope to achieve using AI. The IT and telecom industry, for example, are prioritizing AI solutions that will allow them to predict market changes better while the FSI segment is looking to improve the accuracy of customer behavior prediction. Retail firms want to use insights gathered through AI to develop new products and services.
The Forrester study points to the immense potential that AI holds for APAC companies, which can use this technology to address core business objectives of streamlining operations and enhancing the customer experience.
Companies in the region are also expected to leverage AI to deliver business value at every stage of the customer lifecycle, from prospecting to upselling and retaining loyal customers.
For a more in-depth analysis of how companies in the region are using AI, download the complete study here.