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    Low ROI from AI is a people problem, not a tech problem

    Published on 12-Mar-2020 12:00:00


    The top blockers to effective AI use in businesses aren't technical issues. They're people problems.

    This is evidenced by the top blockers to AI as reported by executives in McKinsey's report Notes from the AI frontier: AI adoption advances, but foundational barriers remain. The top problems are around how people use data, skills, ownership, strategy, processes, and trust.


    Notes from the AI frontier - AI adoption advances, but foundational barriers remain -  Exhibit 3 - McKinsey

    This makes me think of some of the key tenets of consulting and being in IT generally.

    No matter how it looks at first, it's always a people problem. Gerald M. Weinberg, Secrets of Consulting, 1985
    Any organization that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization's communication structure. Mel Conway

    Adopting AI is going to change things for businesses and people for the better, but first we need to understand that we have to change how we do things for that to happen.

    Nightingale HQ isn't a pure AI company, because we fundamentally believe that the people challenges around AI need solving more than having yet another AI tech startup. We don't sell custom vision solutions, chatbots, or whatever but we do provide a platform to help businesses start changing the way they do things. They can do that through strategy tools, through training, through working with experts on real projects.

    No technology is a silver bullet that will solve your business' problem. The thought out change in the way you do things, underpinned by a new technology, will solve your business problem.

    So if you're thinking about AI and about how it can help your business, to get ROI you need to start thinking about the people.

    Here is some further reading on this topic to help you get started:

    You can also schedule a call with me about your business' challenges and how AI can support overcoming them.

    Topics: AI strategy, Research, AI journey, AI adoption, Expert perspectives, Digital transformation, AI-Readiness

    Steph Locke

    Written by Steph Locke

    Steph Locke, CEO of Nightingale HQ, is an accomplished data scientist who has helped thousands of businesses during her time working in industry, as a consultant, and as an international keynoter and author.