How to Avoid Overspending on AI

Artificial intelligence is the darling of the moment for the technology press and the corporate meme-stream. So much so, it’s forcing some CFOs into tough discussions with executive teams that are overly anxious to gamble with current assets in hopes of gaining future competitive advantages.

AI certainly holds serious potential, even as research continues to map its exact capabilities.

But CFOs are rightly concerned about overspending and creating enterprise-wide, inflexible AI/IT platforms rather than scalable solutions and capabilities. As we saw with recent overspending on data lakes and clouds, when it comes to technology, imitation for imitation’s sake is dangerous.

Whether executives see AI as a technological magic wand, eliminating all of their current and future woes, or as just the latest “flavor of the month” technology, one thing is clear: there is significant investment risk associated with an incorrect assessment of AI’s value.

Executives who are too optimistic in their assessment of AI’s value risk overspending, failing to achieve projected results, and disrupting their organization. If their view of AI is too pessimistic, they likely will under-invest and potentially fall behind competitors.

There’s little question AI will end up being a transformative technology rather than an enabling one. Still, randomly experimenting with ad-hoc AI pilots without an overarching strategic blueprint will inevitably lead to pilot purgatory at worst and the development of limited point solutions at best.

Based on emerging client work, 60-plus interviews on enterprise AI across a number of sectors, and a year-long collaboration with the World Economic Forum on AI’s impact on future production, we have developed a set of guiding principles for building executable, scaled AI strategy and capabilities … read complete article at CFO.com

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