Are you looking to use AI in your business and need to find the best AI consultants?Consultants can help to get your company started quickly with AI initiatives. We have compiled all that you need to know on AI consulting, to decide whether to use AI consultants and which ones to work with.
Artificial Intelligence will be one of the hot topics of 2018. Many organizations believe artificial intelligence has huge potential and would impact all the World. Currently, AI has created a huge Revenue potential for sales and marketing related topics, but moreover, this disruption is expected to other jobs. A recent Harvard Business Review article claims that in near future even the elite consultants face the risk of getting replaced by artificial intelligence.
Why is AI consulting becoming important?
Integration of artificial intelligence related products is becoming more important. Currently, there is demand for artificial intelligence related products, but supply side is limited. Either the technology isn’t mature yet or the Companies don’t know which firm to hire. Hence, artificial intelligence consulting will be a highly important industry in the near future.
(Courtesy of Capgemini Consulting)
A recent report by Capgemini Consulting presents this problem. Many firms miss the chance to implement low complexity and high benefit artificial intelligence use cases. This is the “must do quadrant”. 54% of the firms in this quadrant haven’t implemented the suggested use case yet.
Another survey conducted by Boston Consulting Group and MIT Sloan Management Review shows the expectations of respondents. Many industries have the potential to adapt the technology and the rest expects to reach the same potential in five years.
These two studies show that while businesses have high expectations from AI, they are currently not leveraging AI as much as they can. BCG – MIT Sloan Management Review shows the high expectations of companies. Capgemini Consulting’s report shows that there are potential use cases that are not adopted yet.
What are typical AI consulting activities?
Consulting can be divided in 3 major categories, AI consulting is not quite different:
1- Strategy formulation
How should the client use AI? It’s necessary to understand the client’s strategy, challenges and opportunities faced by the company, client’s data & analytics capabilities. Combining these with an understanding of state-of-the-art AI, consultant can identify the most important AI initiatives for the company.
In light of these initiatives, companies overall strategy also needs to be revised. For example, a translation services company needs to make dramatic changes to its business to ensure that it survives in 5-10 years when Google translate reaches human level translation capabilities. It is helpful to have strategy sessions envisioning 5-10 years into the future, helping executives understand the future of AI so they can identify how their business needs to start changing today.
Strategy will result in a number of initiatives. Implementation should also be considered as multiple activities such as planning, vendor selection if needed, project management, development, improvement of business processes impacted by the project, change management and so on.
As with any consulting service, some or all any services can be completed by consultants. Or implementation can be in-housed and in most cases it is in-house. However, for example if client lacks the tech know-how to implement urgent initiatives, starting with consultants can help the client progress faster. However, please bear in mind that, in the long run relying on consultants completely for implementation will likely be more expensive than completing those activities in-house.
Ideally, consulting projects should improve culture and skills of the client. This is especially relevant in the field of AI where talent is scarce. AI consulting projects need to ensure that client teams are capable and knowledgeable about the technologies they will be working on.
Artificial Intelligence Consulting Landscape
A major distinction between AI consultants is their area of focus. While some offer end-to-end consulting services, only AI focused consultants are also entering this industry.
Traditional Consultants with AI services
Tech consulting companies
IBM pushed AI into the spotlight with DeepBlue winning against the world champion in chess and Watson winning against Jeopardy! champions. Accenture also has an advantage in the AI consulting space with its large, tech focused consulting team. For most companies working already with them, they are the first names they think about when they think about getting consulting services in the AI space.
Top management consultants – MBB
Traditional consulting firms such as MBB (McKinsey, BCG, Bain) have been active in strategy side of things for a long time, but as the greater dependence on data continues, companies’ focus will likely to shift towards artificial intelligence. So this raises the question of whether consulting will be able to survive without artificial intelligence implementation or not. Those two industries will likely to become more interlinked because of the advantages of a possible partnership. There are numerous recent acquisitions and investments from consulting firms into AI companies such as SparkBeyond.
Big 4 accounting firms
Though launched as accounting companies in early 1900s, Big 4 (Deloitte, PwC, EY and KPMG) have been running consulting businesses for >50 years. However, their prices and in some countries scope of their consulting activities have been limited compared to other consulting companies.
The growth in AI gives them a chance to establish a strong practice in an emerging area. AI is a technology with implications to many business areas where talent is still scarce. Big 4 accounting firms are some of the largest employers in the world and they have deep enough pockets to make large investments in this space and they have the business development know how and resources to make partnerships across the AI ecosystem to deliver end-to-end services.
Emerging Boutique AI Consultants
AI Strategy consultants
Companies like Blu focus on helping companies formulate their AI strategy. Blu offers Artificial Intelligence Consulting services that help businesses navigate the ever-changing technological landscape and bring closer to customers. The company brings an team of experts that are on the frontiers of multiple streams of AI and combine that with business acumen that takes companies to the next level.
AI implementation consultants
Other consultants focus on developing custom AI solutions. However, since strategy formulation is much less manpower intensive, most of these companies also offer AI strategy services.
GoodAI Consulting is an AI-focused consulting firm using artificial intelligence solutions to maximize business success for companies and organizations across a range of industries. The company analyzes how AI can help a client’s business, do the necessary research legwork on their behalf, and implement practical solutions. GoodAI Consulting started because of high demand for the know-how and experience of GoodAI researchers. Their R&D team focuses solely on general AI research.
Companies like LeaderGPU also provide turnkey projects. They provide the consulting and implement the custom artificial solutions.
Element AI is one of the best funded AI startups with $102M funding and also boasts an impressive list of AI scientists as its founders. Building customizable solutions for corporations, they are an important company in this space.
SME AI consultants
Artificial Intelligence is not only used by large companies. Increasingly small and medium enterprises try to integrate the technology into their structure. Even though artificial intelligence provides huge scalability advantages, integration into a differently sized organization requires a different type of focus points. Therefore, some artificial intelligence consulting firms choose to focus on small and medium enterprises and provide custom tailored solutions
WildFire is an example of these consulting firms. The firm provides award-winning AI, data science, and big data consulting services. Their specialty is data science, AI, machine learning, deep learning and big data. The company helps fortune 3000 and medium to small companies with an end to end AI, big data strategy, and implementation.
Sourced from Applied AI