IDG Contributor Network: 5 steps for baking AI into your enterprise


Increasingly, digital transformation is key to nearly every enterprise strategy—and it’s prompting the C-suite to embrace and apply new technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI), to traditional business processes.

But AI is not a silver bullet. Solutions require a combination of data, technology, infrastructure, talent and vision. And at times it can get complex.

It’s not all that different from baking, another messy composition process where many things need to come together for success. For your first venture into AI adoption, below are five baking-inspired steps to consider—inspired by our own time in the kitchen.

1. Plan your bake

AI isn’t a single, monolithic technology but is instead a diverse set of technology ingredients with the potential to deliver many types of benefits. Think of yourself stepping into the best test kitchen on the planet, equipped with stainless steel appliances, shelves of recipe books and fully stocked pantry and refrigerator. The possibilities are almost endless.

is a good resource with examples of this—including articles, notebooks, data sets, and tutorials—ready to execute.

5. Test before serving

Is your cake fully baked? You’ll need to test it. Agile organizations should regularly test and audit processes and procedures to ensure they remain valid, are well-defined, executable, and implemented as designed. You don’t just set it and forget it. Testing is part of the feedback loop—it’s integral to the scientific method and integral to being a good cook in the kitchen. And it’s an essential method of learning.

Agile organizations are not static. They constantly seek opportunities to improve. As the marketplace becomes increasingly competitive, technology like AI won’t be optional, the marketplace will demand it. At Crédit Mutuel, a leading European bank, before deploying IBM Watson technology across its 5,000 branches, the bank first completed an intensive one-year training pilot with 150 client advisors in 20 branches. Crédit Mutuel was clear on its goal to strengthen customer relationships with improved customer service. The test period allowed the bank to refine its AI “recipe” to one that worked across each location. Watson-based solutions are now being used by 20,000 client advisors across Crédit Mutuel operations in France.

AI is driving digital transformation in business and the wider economy. For organizations adopting digital transformation strategies that leverage AI, lessons from the kitchen can help inspire best practices and help ensure success.

This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network.