In our last blog , we covered several housekeeping items for your business applications that you and your team could tackle during this stay-at-home period. One of the suggestions was learning about an emerging technology, such as AI, IoT, or digital assistants. In this blog, I’m going to dig deeper into specific emerging technologies and how you can apply an emerging technology to add extra value to your company.
First, learn about your company
My first recommendation is to gain a better understanding of your company. If you’re working for a publicly traded company, a good place to start is the 10-K. It’s a document that your company is required to file every year with the SEC. It details financial performance, earnings per share, the organizational structure, subsidiaries, executive compensation, and much, much more information. The purpose of the 10-K is to make investors aware of the innerworkings of a company so they can make timely buy/sell decisions. It’s a great place for you to gain a big picture understanding of your company over and above what you may know about your specific line of business, geographical region, or the particular division in which you work.
Next, learn more about your company’s new objectives
Most likely, these will be internal documents, and they may be readily available. The strategic goals may have shifted so be aware. These will help you understand the path forward … how your company plans to grow, new markets the leadership wants to enter, and possibly new products on the horizon. These strategic priorities may also give you an indication of challenges, struggles, and points of pain that your company needs to address during this time.
Apply emerging technologies to your company’s objectives
Once you have an understanding of your company’s growth strategies and challenges, you can apply the information you learn about emerging technologies to help solve a challenge, streamline a process, or improve the employee or customer experience. This is your opportunity to think outside of the box as they say, but be sure that your ideas are tied to strategic objectives. Here are some examples of emerging technologies in action that may get you thinking about ideas for your company.
Artificial Intelligence for Sales and Marketing
The current crisis situation has literally shifted markets in a matter of days. Some segments of the economy went from tremendous growth to double-digit losses in a week. Your company may need to shift its sales strategy in the short-term to find ways to recover lost revenue or tap into new markets to keep pace with economic shifts. AI solutions apply machine learning algorithms to your customer data to identify an ideal customer profile and then match that profile to trusted 3rd-party data to create a target list of prospects for your sales and marketing teams.
AI for Supply Chain
Similar to entire markets that shifted quickly, suppliers all over the world found themselves dealing with shipping and receiving restrictions that may have prevented them from fulfilling orders. That situation may have put your company in scramble-mode as you tried to find new suppliers. Depending on your industry, component parts may have spiked in price, impacting sales projections and profit margins. An AI application can analyze your ERP data, including current suppliers, POs, invoices, payables, etc., and compare company information with 3rd-party data to give you insight into your supplier ecosystem. It can also help you rank suppliers, figure out where you can negotiate better discounts, and create models to help your company optimize procurement processes.
Digital Assistants/Chatbots for Workforce or Customer Experience
This conversational interface uses machine learning and natural language processing to guide people to the right source of information, the appropriate live support person, or walk someone through a process. Digital assistants can be a relatively quick and easy way to fill a gap as your company shifts staff with people working from home. Chatbots can also greatly improve the user experience for both internal and external use cases. For example, your company can add a digital assistant to your employee portal to help people find specific HCM benefits information, or you can add a digital assistant to the home page of your website to help people get to the right resource to help with a specific question or issue.
Please read my last blog that is referenced at the end of this article for more information on emerging technologies. There is a lot of free content online; from YouTube tutorials to online classes. According to a recent cnbc.com article, many 4-year colleges are offering free online classes, so people can learn while staying safe at home. You can search for the online classes about emerging technologies that fit your interests and company objectives.
I hope this gives you inspiration to learn something new so you can apply emerging technologies to develop professionally and to help tackle the priorities and challenges in your company.
For more information on a complete suite of cloud-based applications that includes emerging technologies, go to www.oracle.com/applications