Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

HR and Artificial Intelligence: What Are the Implications?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has always been the stuff of fantasy and science fiction. We’re now seeing these dreams become reality. As always, in any industry, high growth opportunities belong to the early adopters. These include many small to medium businesses that have the vision and flexibility to quickly identify and adopt new solutions—well ahead of their larger counterparts.

One innovation area that promises high returns, but with lower risk, is adaptive intelligence—a subset of artificial intelligence. Ideally suited for businesses that need to run lean on labor, these applications combine analytics and machine learning to improve human performance in multiple areas across the organization, from sales and operations to finance and human resources. They collect and analyze data to help automate transactional processes and decision making in smart ways that learn, adapt, and interact, based on experience.

For example, adaptive learning can be used to provide managers with visual maps of organizational trends that predict future labor turnover and leadership succession—including suggestive next steps—with an exceptionally high degree of accuracy.

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The great thing about adaptive intelligence applications is that they are now being rolled out as turnkey, out-of-the-box applications that require little to no customization, either from the client or the vendor—which is great for SMBs with fewer resources. These applications can add immediate value with very little risk.

Not so with many of the large AI applications that we see in today’s headlines. IBM’s Watson, for example, makes for a very exciting story, but the application has proven difficult for organizations to apply and adopt, placing a major drain on resources with seemingly no end in sight. Driverless technology, another highly visible example, is equally exciting, but the number of fatal mishaps and issues across multiple legal jurisdictions have made the applications risky and questionable. We’re just not quite there yet.

Oracle’s vision for adaptive intelligence is more practical. As an innovation leader, the company works directly with customer feedback to deliver real-world, out-of-the-box applications that are easy to start and offer immediate business value.

Starting with Customer Experience (CX), Oracle has begun rolling out adaptive intelligent applications with favorable analyst reviews. Among the top competitors, including IBM, Microsoft, Adobe, and Salesforce, Oracle differentiates itself with an outcome-driven strategy. Rather than offering capabilities that then need to be custom configured for specific situations, Oracle is doing the hard work behind the scenes, bundling data and data science with applications that connect the entire business, so customers don't have to.

Adaptive intelligence applications are a new category of continuously adapting, self-learning applications with high potential across multiple business areas. Below are some examples of what is possible:

  • Human resources recruiters can automatically identify best-fit candidates in the shortest time and HR managers can create job descriptions that will help candidates more efficiently find the best and most well-suited positions.
  • Finance professionals can nimbly negotiate best supplier terms, while optimizing cash flow needs and balancing costs—especially during critical financial events such as the end of a quarter or for a high volume of payables.
  • Marketing and commerce managers can drive higher conversion rates, lift, repeat purchases, and ultimately, revenue, with smart, contextual offers and recommended actions for individual consumers.
  • Supply Chain managers can automatically find the best options to distribute goods around the world, while optimizing costs and price for both the buyers and the transporters to provide the best value freight and transportation options for enterprise shippers.

Adaptive intelligence is the future. SMBs—with the disadvantage of greater resource constraints, but the vision and agility to act as early adopters—have a clear benefit and competitive advantage with adaptive intelligence.

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