What’s the real value of AI for your business and how can you capitalise on it?
The main finding from this study is the enormous impact of AI and its potential value. It is expected that by 2030, artificial intelligence or AI could boost the global economy by $15.7 trillion, which is more than the joint output of China and India. $6.6 billion would be generated through a productivity boost and $9.1 billion by increased consumption thanks to products and services of higher quality.
Belgian service providers should see AI as an addition to their existing automation projects with a view to reducing the impact of the high labour costs in our country. AI is now within reach of many organisations, so Belgian businesses will soon be able to enjoy all of its advantages. Researchers analysed the potential commercial opportunities of AI and the best way businesses can reap the benefits thereof. PwC analysts assessed which regions, sectors and activities would benefit the most from the use of AI.
Floris Ampe, Partner at PwC Belgium and Digital Services & Innovation Leader, explains: “We found that AI can greatly benefit the services sector, which is strongly represented in Belgium. Moreover, the cost of labour in our country is one of the highest in the world, which means AI offers significant opportunities for cost reduction. Belgian service providers are already working on far-reaching automation.
In addition, they’re increasingly turning to robotic process automation (RPA) to merge data from various systems. In the past, human intervention was a must, but RPA has allowed us to automate the process, and thus to shave dozens of percentage points off administrative wage costs.
These companies are definitely open to further boosting their efficiency through AI, which could allow them to achieve combined cost reductions of as much as 50%.”
He points out that there are already quite a few tools that businesses can use to get acquainted with AI and build up the necessary know-how in this field.
“For a while now, cloud service providers have been developing simple AI tools that enable companies to build a ‘proof of concept’. Some of these tools can even be tested free of charge. The main advantage is that the providers of those tools have managed to remove a significant amount of complexity, so users can rapidly apply them to their own data and applications. That makes it possible to develop an application in just a few weeks.”
PwC has found that companies choose to make use of AI in their back-office processes in the first instance, on the assumption that major improvements can be made there, while the commercial risks in case of failure remain limited. “That being said, I’m convinced the main advantages of AI can actually be realised by using it in processes that do call for direct contact with customers. Labour intensive helpdesks, for example, will benefit from automated systems that answer customers’ questions.
Since customers often have queries about the same topics, chatbots could quickly provide satisfactory answers. Commercial processes for banking products for example will also be increasingly automated and efficient. Initially they’ll be supervised by staff, but as the systems become smarter, human supervision will be scaled back”, predicts Floris Ampe.