Generative AI’s Value for an SMB

Dec 18, 2023 | AI

What is Generative AI?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been in the news a lot this year. Specifically, it isn’t AI in general, but a specific category of AI known as generative AI. This AI is capable of creating content such as documents for marketing and website content, as well as images, video, and audio. What has made generative AI take off are the tools that use natural language to utilize them. Users don’t necessarily require expertise in coding anymore. One generative AI tool that hit the news and has everyone curious about this development is ChatGPT which allows any user to create conversations, answer text, and similar “written responses.” ChatGPT and similar tools are available to almost anyone.

There’s a lot of excitement about the potential use of generative AI. It could be used to facilitate faster customer service, help attorneys evaluate large quantities of legal documents, propose new approaches to medical cases, and so on. It also raises lots of concerns. How does one know that the content created by generative AI is accurate and can be trusted? It can be used to create misleading information, such as deceptive statements that could alter someone’s understanding of a political, cultural or medical issue. Some worry it could displace whole categories of human workers. These are all valid concerns and ensuring that code you use is accurate is your responsibility. As to the question of worker replacement, that’s a definite maybe. While it may eliminate mundane tasks, people will still be needed to fill in the gaps where AI falls short and that audio clip is a good example!

Who Can Benefit?

Many industries can benefit from the judicious use of AI; legal, medical, architects, etc. and the MSP world is no exception. In particular, AI is another line of defense in cyber security. Clearly, one of the greatest risks any business faces is cybercrime. Malware, data breaches, ransomware–they all are a business-owner’s nightmare. Ransomware can hold your data hostage. Once attacked, there are very few alternatives to submitting to the ransom request unless you have solid, uncorrupted backups.

AI is helping MSPs respond quicker to specific threats and concerns, and assist in diagnosis and troubleshooting. Also, as every SMB knows, 24/7 monitoring and support is a critical service that an MSP can provide far more efficiently than a company can do in-house due to the benefits of economies of scale. AI improves 24/7 monitoring because it evaluates an enormous amount of data, far faster than humans, identifies potential problems early, can isolate systems to contain the threat, and allows teams more time to respond.

Get the Wheels Turning

One way a small business might utilize AI is with marketing and sales. A lot of an SMB’s digital marketing tasks can be time-consuming and easily automated. Drip email campaigns, website visitor tracking, understanding where each customer exists in the sales funnel at any given moment, and other digital tools that increase customer engagement and drive sales are an excellent introduction to AI as a marketing tool. These tools both free up sales and marketing staff for other more complex tasks and improve customer engagement.

Another way AI can be of use to SMBs is asset and inventory and job management. Input inventory into the system and move from warehouse to jobsite. Have those movements trigger alerts to crew of material availability and trigger other alerts to order more material. Add a new job to the system and generate a list of materials, link it to potential crews and start the inventory process moving. Construct views to know what products are where, which crew are free for another job, etc.

More Info

We recently did a webinar with an experienced programmer demonstrating some of the possibilities. If you think you could benefit from implementing AI functionality in your workflow, reach out. We’d be glad to give you a hand.

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