Are you already too far behind to catch up to the AI revolution?

Johannesburg, 14 Oct 2021
Read time 2min 30sec

The arrival of COVID-19 has catalysed boardrooms across the country to focus on digitisation like never before and has forced businesses to confront the stark possibility that they may already be too far behind to catch up to the AI revolution.

SafriCloud (one of Africa’s leading cloud communication companies) recently surveyed SA’s leading IT decision-makers to unpack the state of the AI nation. The report that has been released shows that nearly 60% of survey respondents say their business supports them in their desire to implement AI/ML, yet only 25% believe it is understood well at an executive level.

Shaun Cothill, BusinessDevelopment Manager for SafriCloud, says: “Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) represent a new frontier in business. Like previous generations that faced new frontiers – such as personal computing and the industrial revolution – we can’t predict what these changes might lead to. All we can say is that business will be different, jobs will be different and how we think will be different. Those open to being different will be the ones that succeed.”

If you’re part of the 62% that has not already implemented AI/ML in some form within your business, you’ll need to drive and encourage the adoption of AI at an executive level. And for the real effectiveness to be demonstrated and understood, it needs to be put to the test – the proof of the pudding really is in the eating. Unless the adoption of AI within a business can be practically shown to improve the bottom line by increasing productivity, reducing costs and improving customer satisfaction levels, a business would be reticent to implement it.

But where to start? Even before creating the strategies and use cases for AI/ML implementations, you will have to sort out your data. So, the first step in testing the effectiveness of AI in a business is to remove data silos and to acquire sufficient structured data, and then find the easy wins to prove the case for AI. While this is easy to do in a data-rich environment, like contact centres or e-commerce websites (due to ready-made AI solutions being available for testing), it is a little more complex for other industries.

The key to testing the effectiveness of AI within your business is to set the test parameters upfront and be clear about the current reality and expected improvements. Initiate a few easy-to-manage projects to enable you to present working examples to the executive team. If successful, this will, in turn, boost confidence and build a roadmap to increased AI/ML adoption.

Get free and instant access to the full report: “AI:SA The State of AI in South African Business 2021” –

Editorial contacts
Digital and Strategy Alpha9 Digital Consulting Paul Walker (Director) (065) 330 4242
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