An effective way to tackle this challenge is to find a friendly partner who can bear the burden. This means other companies or organizations that have the skills you lack, such as engineering, logistics, marketing, sales, etc., or that specialize in the support infrastructure you need.
This is especially important when dealing with AI. It’s certainly becoming easier for businesses to consider AI and start reaping its benefits. However, fully integrating it into your business across all viable use cases remains expensive, time-consuming, and often dependent on the availability of highly skilled professionals.
Companies rely on trusted networks of consultants, suppliers, and resellers to build these partnership ecosystems. AI-powered partnerships will be especially important for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which generate the bulk of GDP and account for 90% of global business activity.Ultimately, these businesses are likely to decide whether AI achieves its plans. $4.4 trillion potential.
Challenges to AI implementation
In my experience, at the top of the list of reasons why companies have difficulty realizing their AI ambitions is simply a lack of skills. Much has been written about the shortage of AI professionals, including machine learning engineers, data scientists, and project managers with field experience.
Then, problems often arise with the data itself. While this can mean difficulties in data acquisition, it now more likely means difficulties in cleaning and preparing data, addressing data quality, and understanding and complying with privacy and security regulations. .
Additionally, there are challenges to organizational culture. There is also the possibility that there will be pushback from employees, fearing that they will eventually be replaced by AI. Executives may also be reluctant to hand over aspects of decision-making that are often seen as part of leadership.
These are all issues that are daily preventing companies from reaping the benefits of the advances brought about by AI. Although it may seem extremely difficult for a company to tackle alone, it can often be overcome with an effective partnership strategy. Let’s take a look at how some companies are doing it.
Kate Woolley, IBM’s general manager of ecosystem, said the company’s partnership ecosystem includes technology and systems integrators, as well as consultants and software vendors, all of which address gaps in an organization’s skillset. They believe they have a role to play in filling the gap, creating a robust data strategy, and guiding organizational change.
Part of that strategy is to bring together the best. I told her about the recent partnership deal between IBM and her SAP. The partnership agreement integrates WatsonX directly into SAP Start, SAP’s cloud services homepage. This will enable users to take advantage of WatsonX’s natural language capabilities when launching and using their SAP suite of cloud applications.
Woolley told us that this “provides a much better user experience for SAP users and more value for our clients.”
In a partnership, one partner’s value is often the unique ability to meet the other partner’s customer needs.
For example, recently Google announced the closure It’s part of Jamboard, a whiteboarding tool that’s been integrated into Google Workspace since 2016. As such, Jamboard was very popular. However, it was not as popular as other whiteboard tools such as FigJam, LucidSpark, and Miro. These tools are also integrated into Workspace through a partnership agreement with Google.
All of these apps meet the requirements of Workspace customers while keeping them within the Google ecosystem. So it makes sense for Google to stop competing with Google for users and simply provide the infrastructure they need to scale.
Microsoft and Wolters Kluwer have partnered to develop an AI tool that uncovers relevant legal information, streamlines legal professionals’ workflows, and demonstrates the transformative power of cross-company collaboration in AI innovation. David Jones, Principal Program Manager for this initiative, Modern Work Customer Co-Innovation team at Microsoft To tell“Leveraging Mr. Wolters Kluwer’s deep expertise to determine the legal context of the documents attorneys are working on will provide valuable information that will help attorneys accelerate their workflows and produce higher quality work. We thought we could actively bring it to the surface.”
another recently releasedThe partnership with IBM, this time with NASA, aims to democratize access to geospatial data collected by the space agency’s satellites. The partnership includes the creation of the first open-source AI-based model built on NASA data to help with tasks such as monitoring deforestation, detecting greenhouse gas emissions, and predicting crop yields. It was built to.
Expand with partners
Partnerships offer organizations the opportunity to develop collaborative processes. This creates an opportunity for companies to share best practices and learn from each other. It also exposes each partner’s services to the other’s audience, plays a promotional role, and creates opportunities for common advertising and marketing efforts from both companies.
When done effectively, both partners can leverage each other’s reputation and credibility to convey trustworthiness to their audience and potential future clients.
This strategy can be seen in partnerships like Coca-Cola and Spotify. The soft drink company provided value to its customers by providing the technology behind Coca-Cola Music, while Spotify benefited from Coca-Cola’s global marketing efforts.
Through its partnership with AirB’n’B, American Express created value and increased loyalty by offering members exclusive benefits. AirB’n’B increased exposure to the affluent consumer base of Amex cardholders.
But perhaps the biggest benefit that many companies achieve through alliances is the ability to share resources and knowledge. We often leverage the specialized skillsets of our partners to improve functionality and user experience.
The future of partnership?
As technology evolves, it stands to reason that the nature of partnerships will also evolve. As more and more AI use cases emerge, we believe more and more organizations will explore the benefits of forming partnerships with other organizations that share a compatible vision and values. .
An increasingly common concept will be central to excellence. These can be thought of as hubs that act as central repositories where you can participate in multi-partner networks, share lessons and explore opportunities. IBM was early to connect this trend with the rise of generative AI. Released this year, Center of Excellence in Generative AIis designed as an access point to a network of over 1,000 experts in emerging technologies. Already, he has over 100 clients leveraging these opportunities, including his AI-generated audio commentary at the Masters and applications in chemical engineering and customer relations.
Another example of an organization that is pioneering when it comes to leveraging the power of partnerships is OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT. The company has been very active in partnering with third-party application and service providers, including: Expedia, Shutterstock and Coursera. By all accounts, OpenAI has recognized the critical role technology plays in growing its user base and has created a streamlined process centered around partnering with companies that can leverage their technology to improve their services. .
As more organizations understand the requirements of AI, I believe a frank and open approach to building partnership ecosystems will become the standard model. If managed well, it can play a key role in pioneering the next generation of IT innovation.