Artificial Intelligence

How digital natives and traditional companies can succeed in AI

At the 2018 Grace Hopper Celebration, Angela Zutavern of AlixPartners described the differences in AI and machine learning among different types of companies.

At the 2018 Grace Hopper Celebration, Angela Zutavern of AlixPartners spoke with TechRepublic's Alison DeNisco Rayome about the differences in AI and machine learning among different types of companies. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.

Angela Zutavern: I'm seeing a big difference between companies that were born-digital, and those that were born-traditional. Born digital companies have had technologies like AI and machine learning as part of the fabric of their organization, from their very founding. They're great at anything having to do with data. Born-traditional companies, on the other hand, have a lot of data that is often not any usable format. They're struggling with getting a digital platform in place so they can even begin their AI journeys. Born-digital companies often struggle with the basic fundamental building blocks of business, like operations and efficiencies, whereas born-traditional companies are struggling with digital transformation.

SEE: Executive's guide to AI in business (free ebook)

My advice for born-traditional companies is to not start too big. These large, enterprise-wide transformation efforts often fail. Instead, what works, is to build an accelerated, cloud-based digital platform that's inexpensive and something you can get up and running in a few months. Then, build-out a couple of use-cases with high-business impact, and these can be machine learning models, for example, on customer segmentation, or predicting behavior as it relates to different promotions. For born-digital companies, they're great at technology, and we admire them for that. They can't ignore what's in the back office. It's not enough to have an amazing app and customer experience. You really need to have the business fundamentals, and so, born-digital companies need to bring in expertise to help them scale-up the business operations.

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About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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