If the last year-in-tech has taught us anything, it is that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not far out in the future; it is right here, right now. The question that you need to find an answer to, if you haven’t already, is how are you going to incorporate AI in your daily work and lives to ensure you are making the best use of it. This article should help you get to that answer.
The reason why everyone’s talking about AI now is because of the seemingly sudden advancement in generative AI. This is AI that “creates” written, visual, or other content based on prompts you provide. OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard are two of the most popular such tools. Already, we can see the impact of these tools. Most of us have tried “creating” some form of content using them. What makes these tools exciting is the accessibility - we can all use them. In a way, generative AI is democratizing AI.
More than just a feature
Businesses are using generative AI tools for some of their non-core activities, like drafting a series of marketing emails or creating a rudimentary version of scripts. There are technology providers, including some of our competitors, that are integrating with ChatGPT, for instance, to offer such “features”.
But, this is force-fitting AI for the sake of it - just to show there are AI features. But AI isn’t just a feature.
This is the belief we had when we started SuperOps.ai - that AI when incorporated in a thoughtful manner and at a fundamental level can positively transform how businesses are run. AI is at its most useful when deployed to solve real and core operational and business challenges.
At its simplest, AI “feeds” on data over a period of time, “observes” patterns, “draws” conclusions, and “offers” predictions on future behavior or “recommendations” based on its observations and conclusions.
The advancements in AI technology have the potential to elevate MSP business efficiency, streamline operations, and enhance data-driven decision-making.
MSP businesses for whom technology is their lifeblood should be proactively looking at how AI can help them and their clients since technology or IT support has a number of activities that are repetitive and are ideally suited for AI to streamline and even “perform” them.
Here are just a few of the many uses of AI in the MSP business:
Manual and time-consuming tasks like ticket management, scheduling, billing, time tracking, and policy management can be arduous and a drain on resources. AI can help simplify and automate these tasks, and empower MSPs to boost their productivity and efficiency.
Another area MSPs struggle with is the visibility of the various moving parts of their operations, including resource utilization, cash flow, and scaling. AI can enable MSPs to make their operations more effective by ensuring optimized resource allocation, improved cash flow, and scalable growth.
Without AI-driven insights, making data-driven decisions can be challenging, potentially resulting in suboptimal choices that impact overall business performance. MSPs gain from the advantage of data-driven decision-making, ensuring better outcomes and driving growth.
We, at SuperOps.ai, believe that it is in business-critical areas like decision-making, resource utilization, cash flow projections, and similar areas that AI can have its greatest impact. Like every other technology advancement so far, the impact will be seen based on how we use it.
Choosing what AI works for you
So how do you decide what you use AI for? Let me ask you a question. The auto-completion feature in Gmail is a great everyday solution that saves time and helps improve the email experience for many of us. This is an AI-enabled solution, but many of us do not even consider it as AI or care that it is AI - it is just something that solves a real problem.
This is how we should look at AI in total - what’s the challenge we are trying to solve, and is AI the best option to solve this challenge? At least, that’s how we approach AI within SuperOps.ai and have done so right from the start.
So how do you decide if a software, platform, or tool you choose is truly leveraging AI in the right manner, and is not just slapping on a UI on ChatGPT and calling it their AI solution.
Here are some questions you should ask:
Is AI being touted as one of the features? If yes, then most likely AI is being used as a gimmick. AI should be underlying technology that can improve everyday operations by automating repetitive tasks or uses its learnings and pattern-identification abilities to “predict” outcomes.
Is the AI in your face or is it seamlessly built in to run behind the scenes? If a platform has to “show” its AI, then it is likely doing it wrong and is just using AI to draw attention. The Gmail instance I mentioned earlier is a good example of how it is the solution that matters and not the technology underneath the hood that matters.
Is the tool promising overnight or instant results? If the answer is yes, then the platform may not be using AI at all. AI to be effective needs to consume vast amounts of data, to glean patterns and make predictions. This cannot happen overnight. Anyone saying otherwise is not being honest.
Is the platform provider transparent? AI is still a nascent technology. There are valid questions around it. It is imperative that those of us working with AI are transparent about data usage and other such security and privacy issues. You cannot compromise on trust.
At SuperOps.ai, our focus is on transparency, problem-solving, and thoroughness to deliver the best solutions to our customers. If AI solves our customers’ challenges the best then we opt for AI - this we believe is the best approach to AI. As MSPs, you need to choose whether you want AI to solve core business challenges or do you just want a quick-fix feature. The decisions you make now on AI will have far-reaching consequences on your business and that of your clients. Choosing mindfully is absolutely essential.