Artificial Intelligence encompasses a myriad of components and is a complex tool. It offers so many benefits, but can also easily be misconfigured leading to unintended consequences. Remember, the term ‘artificial’ is key! AI is based on programmatic algorithms that may have been well written–or not so well written. To be used effectively and securely, AI solutions need to be implemented by someone with experienced in the background aspects as well as having an understanding of your environment. They should have an idea of how to implement solutions in such a way as to not expose sensitive data and leave things open to unauthorized access. An MSP can offer the following to help you begin to integrate an AI solution into any aspect of your business.
Step one: Assess your organization’s potential use of AI. Basically, with the holistic understanding of your business that an MSP has, they can help you evaluate where there is opportunity, and assist with prioritization of where to implement first.
Step two: Understand your KPIs and organizational goals, from the top down. Before you do anything, it is essential to articulate your specific goals. What do you identify as the key strategies and how will you measure your success?
Step three: Propose a possible range of AI solutions. Here is an area where your MSP can be of particular value. An MSP will be knowledgeable about the variety of applications out there and lead you to select those most appropriate for your goals.
Step four: Estimate the solution’s ROI. Remember, measurement is important. And you cannot do everything. So identify each potential AI solution’s ROI. This will guide you to make the most effective use of your resources.
Step five: Ensure compliance: For example HIPAA, PCI, HITRUST, ISO27001, SOC1, SOC2 all have very specific requirements. AI is a powerful and potentially intrusive tool. Compliance is critical, so ensure that your solutions meet necessary requirements.
Step six: Implement the solution. An MSP can assist with implementation of the solution. There are some robust tools out there that make project implementation fairly simple for those with a technical bent and high-level guidance. For more complicated projects, you may not have the resources available for what can be a time-intensive project; an MSP can help.
Step seven : Manage tool-related risks. This is a post-implementation issue that most businesses do not take into account for the long term. Examples of ongoing tasks include documentation of configuration and access, access and password management, security patches and updates, as well as monitoring the function and deviations from expected operation.
Step eight: Ongoing evaluation for effectiveness and reliability. Remember, nothing is stagnant in business. Technologies change, the competitive environment changes. Your organization moves forward. Make sure you commit to ongoing reviews of the effectiveness of your chosen solution.
In the end, AI can be useful. But as with any powerful tool, it can cause a lot of trouble if implemented without experience. Small to medium sized businesses typically lack the in-house IT resources and depth of knowledge to implement and maintain an AI infrastructure. An MSP can bring that to the table. If you’re ready to explore options for your business, we would be glad to help.