Home / Ai / Artificial-intelligence /  Preparing for the AI age: Do’s and don’ts for companies to tackle disruptions

As India continues to strengthen its position in the services industry compared to China or other nations in the region, organisations are increasingly looking at adopting large-scale automation. Disruption, led primarily by artificial intelligence (AI), is the order of the day.

Speaking of disruptions, let us put them into the categories of ‘Talk’, ‘Talk and walk’ and ‘Walk or be left out’. Earlier, organisations were able to traverse these segments in sequence and in good time. But the pace of change has accelerated significantly and is now causing existential threats of monolith organisations being disrupted by ‘early walkers’. AI is emerging as one change that has gathered steam and is gaining significant momentum of adoption. So, how should organisations approach preparing for AI?

First, identify the nerve centre and the heart of your organisational strategy and engage in design thinking and ways and means of ‘destroying the monolith’. The questions that should be asked are: Who can serve better than you and why? Is it speed, loyalty, value, distinct system advantages of adjacencies that are the heart beat? How can someone engage AI and disrupt you? Are you agile enough to match and respond or would you play catch up and get left behind? The operating business model disruption is the first step.

For instance, the Global Capability Centres (GCCs) in India, also known as Global In-house Centres (GICs), have gradually and significantly evolved from just performing designated functions, to delivering great value and providing a competitive advantage to their parent organisations. A recent report from KPMG in India and NASSCOM, titled The Future of Me: Reimagining Global Capability Centres, highlights how they are more than capability and innovation centres that add substantial value to an organisation. GCCs can transform into harbingers of change only if they repurpose, reimagine and recalibrate with AI.

The second important thing is about data availability, agility and associated aspects. Are your IT systems enabling speed or acting as a speed deterrent? Is it easier to wipe the polluted data environment and only start with the necessary architecture? Lack of relevant data for some organisations and creation of relevant data structures using new data architecture paradigms for others could cause severe disruption.

Third is the learnability quotient—learnability right from the board level to the last associate in an organisation is becoming critical for its future existence. One must not become complacent with what one has learnt so far. Also, if an organisation sees AI as a threat, it would most likely miss the opportunities AI brings. Fear causes inaction while being aware and open-minded creates opportunities.

The fourth thing to look at is whether you have the right people at the right places to deliver. Businesses and their human resource departments need to work to identify internal talent and external associations to ensure that knowledge is retained or built at the pace of their organisation’s strategy.

And finally, organisations must weigh the cost of doing nothing on AI as something that could wipe out their very existence. The processes and parameters hitherto used for evaluating technology budgets and making strategic decisions need a rethink. What the management can do is assemble diverse thinking professionals across the organisation—and understand that taking on something as disruptive as AI is not the responsibility of the chief information officer (CIO) or a select C-suite executive alone.

Thus, when it comes to AI, reshaping skills and sparking a new learning revolution is the way forward while responding to the change drivers in this evolving landscape. AI may proliferate in the future to provide a boost to humans in some cases and replacing them in others. That said, India has a distinct opportunity in the sense that we have a bright young generation that could be moulded, so as to create a talent and capability hub for the world. All of this can only happen if the current stalwarts make way for the future ones.

Kalpana B is partner and head, intelligent automation, KPMG in India.

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