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February 08, 2017
Increasing strategic agility and growth with artificial intelligence
By: Kaushal Mody

Now that we’ve looked at how AI can help deliver sophisticated business outcomes, let’s examine how it can increase strategic agility and drive growth.

Staying agile in a shifting regulatory environment

Many types of companies have to be extremely nimble when it comes to issues of compliance and risk mitigation. Some financial services firms, for example, are turning to artificial intelligence technology to stay on top of the ever-changing regulatory landscape, whether it’s being used to help with anti-money laundering programs, know-your-customer checks, sanctions list monitoring, billing fraud oversight or other general compliance functions. Proponents say artificial intelligence can be used to improve efficiency, weed out false-positive results, cut costs and make better use of workers’ time and company resources.

One major bank is creating a new division that will deploy artificial intelligence to prevent mistakes or unauthorized behavior before it happens. The AI solution is applied to identify employees who are exhibiting the early signs of “doing wrong activities,” using algorithms to monitor dozens of inputs such as excessive risk-taking, failing to attend compliance training or breaking any other trading rules.

Let’s also look at how AI can stimulate business growth. A recent Accenture Research report notes a discouraging truth about growth today. There has been a marked decline in the ability of traditional levers of production—capital investment and labor—to propel economic growth.

Yet, those numbers tell only part of the story. AI is actually a new factor of production and has the potential to introduce new sources of growth, changing how work is done and reinforcing the role of people to drive growth in business.  Our research on the impact of AI in 12 developed economies reveals that AI could double annual economic growth rates in 2035 by changing the nature of work and creating a new relationship between man and machine.

So how can AI be used to stimulate business growth? In financial services, AI investments are making an impact in wealth management. Both incumbents and newcomers are realizing that the digital shift that is happening in banking will affect this sector. Several banks and financial firms have introduced robo-advisors to deliver custom financial advice that addresses the unique needs of investors.

One Asia Pacific bank, for example, recently started using AI tools to offer services better tailored to a person's significant life events such as a wedding or real-estate purchase.

A European bank is using automatic analysis of large amounts of unstructured data with the purpose of detecting “typical” behavioral patterns of customers. By automating large parts of the wealth management process, the bank is able to offer personalized, tax-optimized investments to clients.

An AI platform adopted at another bank uses experimental conversational technology to answer more than 10,000 different questions. It also constantly adds to its ability to answer questions by learning more about its customers and their needs, every single day.

What’s the common thread here? It’s developing a deeper knowledge of customers and their needs, driving growth by increasing sales and improving overall customer retention.

AI will increasingly come to the attention of the boardroom because of these kinds of examples that show we have the opportunity to use AI to make a company more nimble and better able to drive growth.

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