According to IDC, the Big Data and business analytics industry reached $189 billion in 2019 and could be worth $274 billion by 2022. Data has become the central element of enterprise strategy and operations and essential to understanding what customers want.
Moving forward, the most successful companies will be those best able to balance and blend the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and human engagement to personalize and simplify the customer journey and deliver a great customer experience.
The rise of the data and AI digitally-powered customer experience of tomorrow
Research by McKinsey illustrates the level to which data and AI are influencing the thinking of chief marketing officers (CMOs): 44% of CMOs say frontline employees will rely on insights from advanced analytics to provide personalized offerings to customers, while 40% believe personal shoppers will use AI-enabled tools to improve service.
Other technology industry forecasts are similarly bullish, with Microsoft estimating that “By 2025, as many as 95 percent of all customer interactions will be through channels supported by AI technology.” Statista agrees, with AI set to continue growing in Europe, with sales from AI enterprise apps predicted to grow from €221 million in 2017 to over €7.8 billion in 2025.
AI will enable the data-driven enterprise, but there are hurdles to get over along the way. A McKinsey survey of senior marketing leaders has found that only 15% of CMOs believe their company is on the right track with personalization. But there is a big incentive to overcoming any challenges and driving value from AI and data delivering a personalized customer experience. Enterprises are already using personalization, powered by AI and driven by data, to create 5% to 15% increases in revenue and 10% to 30% percent increases in marketing-spend efficiency.
How does AI move us forward?
AI can help companies deliver better services, which in turn powers an enhanced customer experience. A tangible example is using AI embedded in software-defined network (SDN) management to improve network performance. AI is able to detect any abnormal behavior or degradations in call quality or data flows and take appropriate automated actions.
AI in contact centers can turn them from cost centers to value drivers for companies, helping gather more granular customer knowledge and enabling enhanced customer experience. In telephony and network solutions, AI has the power to support requests for set up, installation, troubleshooting and maintenance, with virtual assistants (VA) and chatbots able to automate and scale responses, dramatically cutting overhead and improving customer satisfaction.
AI can play a role in digital app development, helping developers and UX experts to increase user engagement by analyzing user behavior and patterns. This all fuels the overall enhanced customer experience, which is key. Forrester has found that 84% of companies aspire to be a CX leader, but only one in five companies delivers good or great CX.
The rise, and potential, of AI
The most successful companies will balance and blend the use of AI and human engagement to personalize and simplify the customer journey, reduce friction at every point of interaction and drive customer experience forward. Businesses across all sectors are looking to exploit data and AI to solve complex business issues, deliver practical solutions and open new business models.
And the potential for AI is huge: IDC predicts that AI in the enterprise will deliver over $52 billion in revenues by 2021, at a CAGR of 46%, while Accenture predicts that AI and data analysis could double annual economic growth rates in 2035 by changing the nature of work and creating a new relationship between man and machine. The impact of AI on business could increase productivity by as much as 40%, enabling workers to make more efficient use of their time.
Orange is ready for the data-driven, AI-enabled future
At Orange, we are building for a future that has data and AI at its center and at the heart of our Engage 2025 plan. We examine all the ways AI can help deliver better services, power smarter networks, power greater operating efficiency and continue to reinvent and enhance customer experience. Strengthened by our acquisitions of Business & Decision and The unbelievable Machine Company (part of BaseFarm AS), we already work with companies to capture, in an ethical way, the value of their data.
Our Engage 2025 strategy is focused on helping enterprises secure, collect, transport, store, process, analyze and share data in the best way – and create new business value through the application of AI.
Gartner estimates that global business value derived from AI will reach $3.9tn by 2022, through improved customer experience, new revenue and cost reduction. “The playing field is poised to become a lot more competitive, and businesses that don’t deploy AI and data to help them innovate in everything they do will be at a disadvantage,” says Paul Daugherty, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Accenture.
Data and AI will be essential moving forward, and Orange is already ahead of the game.
Editor in Chief, International, at Orange Business Services. I'm in charge of our International website and the English language blogs at Orange Business Services. In my spare time I'm literally captain of my own ship, spending my time on the wonderful rivers and canals of England.