Full steam ahead in the age of AI

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) brings with it a new era of possibility, reshaping the way we live, work and engage with the world around us. In the past year, democratised access to generative AI has steadily made its mark on a global scale, demonstrating its transformative potential in revolutionising industries and changing the competitive landscape. Whether AI is being used to support the preservation of biodiversity and wildlife, or improve public health by addressing rural inequalities, one thing is clear – when used properly, AI is a potent force for good.


Although the earliest AI concepts date back to the 1950s, the proliferation of AI in recent years and the growing accessibility of AI programs – perhaps most notably OpenAI’s ChatGPT – has widened the divide between organisations that adopt AI and those that fall behind. Leading research and consulting firm, Gartner, predicts that over 80% of enterprise organisations will have adopted generative AI by 2026 – a rapid increase from only 5% in 2023. Moreover, Microsoft’s commitment to invest £2.5bn in expanding AI infrastructure over the next three years signals a significant push towards amplifying the trajectory of AI development in the UK.


However, as AI capabilities evolve at breakneck speed, organisations must harness this newfound power strategically to avoid rushing into AI adoption without the necessary foundations and plans in place to ensure success.

Navigating the Pitfalls

Despite the demonstrative business impact AI can have on organisations across industries, launching headfirst into AI adoption without a clearly defined strategy poses significant challenges. At the forefront of these pitfalls are wasted resources and missed opportunities. For example, investing in AI technologies or infrastructure without aligning with the organisation’s long-term goals or needs. This leads to a squandering of human resources and wasted efforts on AI projects that potentially fail to deliver business value.


Many organisations find themselves in this position for a good reason: to avoid being outpaced by competitors. Depending on how you look at it, AI’s disruptive potential can be a blessing or a curse. As such, organisations must proactively assess how AI capabilities might reshape their industry landscape and position themselves accordingly to drive meaningful change. With the right processes in place – AI has the potential to deliver exceptional business value to organisations. Let’s explore three significant benefits of correctly implementing AI into your organisational strategy…

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Predicting the Unpredictable

As macroeconomic, political and global uncertainties present themselves at pace, it’s crucial to have AI-driven foresight more than ever. To minimise the adverse impact of external forces, AI is a tool to pivot around uncertainty, human error and provide a better-informed indication of potential outcomes. Predictive intelligence enhances planning and performance, for example in forecasting the success of marketing campaigns, sales pipeline or inventory planning.


This can be through:

  • Intelligent forecasting across multiple data points signals
  • Outlier detection to determine unforeseen or unexplainable data points
  • Segmentation of customers based on their behaviour
  • Predicting the propensity of customers to spend or churn
  • Enhancing business outputs with AI-driven quality control and accuracy
  • Locating data faster and more accurately
  • Unstructured to structured data transformation – AI understands large bodies of text as well as common web-based structured like JSON, Markdown HTML and more.

How does this work in action?

Example A

Telefónica Tech worked with a UK-based university to classify overseas course applications into different buckets using AI and machine learning (ML) techniques. This allowed admissions staff to prioritise applications that promised the greatest chance of success at the university, streamlining the admissions process for accepted students.

Example B

In another feat in predicting the unpredictable, Telefónica Tech worked with a large professional services organisation in the construction industry to predict the probability of project margin deviations. By doing so, Telefónica Tech demonstrated the impact of the predictive capability of AI and ML to proactively manage its customers’ risk within their core operations.

Making Informed Decisions Amidst Disrupton

In a world full of uncertainty, making decisions based on data is crucial. Organisations are facing challenges like talent shortages, financial constraints and limited resources while trying to meet high expectations. Therefore, the support AI offers in making better-informed decisions can drastically improve organisational productivity and transform the customer experience.


Furthermore, AI can make data more relevant to certain business personas. For example, AI understands that a HR professional would be most interested in people-focused data, and similarly, a Finance professional would seek out financial data. This means that tailored insights gained from AI-optimised data drive more relevant business perspectives across your organisation.


For instance, Telefónica Tech facilitated an AI-driven knowledge base for a large manufacturing firm, streamlining data access for engineers and enabling quicker, more accurate decisions. Additionally, a proof of concept for anomaly detection in real-time data feeds empowered them to manage global steam components effectively, enhancing maintenance, design, and manufacturing processes for greater reliability and sustainability.

Understanding AI Impact

We understand that one-size does not fit all when approaching AI engagement with our customers. To aid this, our AI Readiness Kick-Start works flexibly with your organisation to meet your unique requirements and equip your team with the support it needs to drive successful AI adoption. Our AI Readiness Kick-Start comprises four tailored focus areas that explore the technical and organisational impacts of AI:


  1. AI Impact Assessment – to quantify the effect of AI and identify use cases
  2. AI Envisioning – to flesh out the use cases and apply prioritisation
  3. AI Business Case – evaluating business value against feasibility and cost of delivery
  4. AI Strategy – apply structure to AI delivery with planning and prioritising.


Our AI Readiness Kick-Start will extract the core use cases applicable to your organisation and offer a viable plan to implement these using language and terminology that is coherent with each business department. This can range from building an AI Innovation Hub to get all of the foundational infrastructure in place, to demonstrating the impact of AI via a Proof of Concept engagement that uses real-world data to substantiate the initial business case.


By understanding the impact AI will have on your organisation and the appropriate steps you need to take to adopt AI securely and responsibly, your organisation can position itself to reap the benefits of AI while mitigating potential risks. Working with Telefónica Tech will enable you to make informed and confident decisions around AI investment.


Ready to kickstart your AI journey?

In prioritising Data and AI fluency, fostering a culture of innovation and implementing ethical AI governance frameworks, organisations can harness the full potential of AI amidst an increasingly competitive technological environment to drive positive change. By embracing AI with foresight and intentionality, we can embrace a future where AI truly serves as a societal force for good.


What does ‘good’ look like for your organisation? Contact Telefónica Tech today to assess your AI readiness with a trusted partner.

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