4 min read

Organizational AI Readiness: 6 Steps to Success

Organizational AI Readiness: 6 Steps to Success
Organizational AI Readiness: 6 Steps to Success

Remember the Palm Pilot? Or Google Glass? These once-hyped technologies promised to revolutionize everyday life, only to join bag phones and floppy disks as distant memories.

But Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not another fleeting fad - it’s different. AI is the future of business, and companies that aren't prepared to channel its power risk being left behind.

Here’s the good news - AI is no longer the stuff of sci-fi novels. It's here - readily available today. In fact, many of your employees are likely already using it - in ways that may or may not be secure and ethical!

Microsoft Copilot, integrated with Dynamics 365, is the perfect entry point for your business. Copilot acts as your virtual wingman, enhancing productivity and streamlining workflows across various departments, including Sales, HR, and Customer Service. Whether your company wants to embrace it for general use in Business Central to optimize processes and improve reporting, or for e-commerce, customer experience and journey mapping, once you see the transformative benefits of Copilot, you’ll understand its value.

Caution: Embracing AI isn't a flick-of-a-switch process. Before you decide to implement Microsoft Dynamics Copilot's powerful capabilities, you must ensure your company is truly AI-ready. This readiness hinges on three key pillars:

  1. Cloud is king. Clunky on-premise software will soon be considered a relic. AI thrives on the scalability and accessibility of the cloud. Without it, Copilot and other AI tools remain shackled, unable to access the stores of data that fuel their magic.
  2. It’s all about data. AI is a bit like a high-performance engine: Garbage in, garbage out. To provide valuable insights and automate tasks, Copilot needs clean, organized, and accessible data. The quality of your results from Microsoft Dynamics Copilot will depend entirely on the accuracy and integrity of your data, so invest time and effort in high-data quality, organized data before setting your AI wheels in motion.
  3. Security must be your north star. With great power comes great responsibility, so AI's access to sensitive data demands iron-clad security measures. Data privacy, ethical AI practices, and transparent governance guidelines are critical to ensure the responsible use of Copilot and other AI tools.

Sound like a complex process? It certainly doesn’t happen overnight. But I’ve identified a six-step transformation plan to guide you toward achieving these three pillars and being on your way to leveraging the power of AI.

The 6 crucial steps to ensure your company is AI-ready

  1. Leadership and Cultural Alignment: Get your executives on board. AI initiatives need top-down support to break down resistance and foster a culture of innovation. Developing a change management plan to prepare your employees for the shift should be your first step to ensure the subsequent steps aren’t wasted efforts.
  2. Regulatory Compliance: There are many reasons for ensuring compliance as your company embarks on its AI journey. From mitigating risks and ethical considerations liabilities to gaining internal and external trust and confidence to gaining a competitive advantage, don’t cut corners here. As an example, let’s look at the ethical considerations of training and running AI models, which can lead to high energy consumption due to the computational power required. This can translate to environmental concerns about the impact of AI if not addressed responsibly. There’s no AI crystal ball to consult, but forward-thinking efforts should be made whenever possible to understand and comply with data privacy and ethical AI frameworks to avoid legal troubles and ensure responsible AI practices.
  3. Security/Risk Management: Do not underestimate the importance of this component. As I already asserted - with power comes great responsibility. Prioritize security, establish clear governance for Microsoft Dynamics Copilot and other AI tools, and implement rigorous protocols to protect data and ensure its ethical use.
  4. Technical Infrastructure: Can your IT infrastructure handle AI? A weak infrastructure will hinder its implementation and success. For example, if a manufacturing plant's predictive maintenance system suffers from network disruptions, the result could be unexpected equipment failures and downtimes. So, assess your hardware and software capabilities. If you need to invest in upgrades, now is the time to do it to ensure smooth integration with Copilot and other AI tools.
  5. Data Assessment: Take stock of your data. Is it reliable? Accessible? Is there enough of it? Just like decluttering and organizing your desk before starting a new project, data assessment streamlines AI assessment. As mentioned earlier, ensuring the quality and accuracy of your data will mean the difference between AI success and failure, so identify gaps and plan to bridge them through data collection or integration initiatives.
  6. Skills & Talent: When planning your company’s journey into AI readiness, be cognizant of many employees' concerns that AI will take away their jobs. Copilot doesn’t replace humans; it augments them, and they need to hear that message from leadership. This isn’t just a hollow reassurance - it’s Microsoft’s stance and the reason they branded their technology as “Copilot,” not “Pilot.”

Sure, AI will replace some jobs, but there are just as many new careers on the horizon, such as prompt engineers, robotic process automation specialists, AI ethicists and security specialists, and many others that aren’t even on the radar yet.

Skills and talent development is not just a cost - it’s a strategic investment in your company’s future. Evaluate your workforce's AI skills and identify training or hiring needs to ensure you have the expertise to manage and use AI effectively.

Final Thoughts

There are other essential steps to preparing your company to embark on its AI journey. Still, the ones I shared above are critical to all organizations.

One more thing for your consideration: Did you know you can build your own Microsoft Copilot tailored to your company’s needs and use cases? In fact, “Create it with Copilot” - part of Microsoft Copilot Studio - enables you to create a Copilot specific to the needs of your business!

At TrellisPoint, we understand the complexities of AI adoption. We can work with you to do a readiness assessment and create a detailed plan for implementing AI in your business with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Copilot for maximum impact. We’ll be your guide on the path to AI success.

Don't let AI pass you by. Embrace it and prepare.

About the Author:

Mike Spence brings over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, customer experience, and IT to his role as Trellispoint’s Vice President of Enterprise Delivery and Marketing. Mike’s deep knowledge of Microsoft Dynamics 365, Power Platform, and Artificial Intelligence helps him devise strategies and solutions that empower businesses to overcome complex problems.

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