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The instinctive enterprise: unlock potential with AI and data

In today’s digital world, data has become the driving force for breakthroughs across every sphere of business. Consumers are benefiting from more dynamic, responsive, and personalized services. While organizations are achieving more as well, using innovative technologies—such as artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics—to collaborate internally and externally, improve predictions, and empower employees. All for the benefit of their customers.

Let’s think of the recent hurricanes that have made landfall. Now imagine an insurance firm that uses data to play more than a transactional role in its customers’ lives, especially in times of crisis. After such natural disasters strike, people need insurers who are proactive, helping to rebuild their lives. Loss adjusters need be on the scene quickly, even if roads are closed and accommodations scarce.

Using drones to capture images in hard-to-reach spots and augmented reality to create 3D models of damaged buildings, adjusters can stay safe while collecting detailed claims data. Seamless internal processes enable close collaborations between partners with everyone working towards a common purpose: to improve the customer experience.

But it doesn’t end there. With AI and computer vision technologies trained on large volumes of loss data, videos, and images, digital technology will determine building construction type, detect wear and tear, and estimate damages based on previous claims.

As these developments start to happen at scale with insurers combining new data with insights from claims professionals, insurers will process claims more accurately and faster. And—most importantly—victims of catastrophic events can get back on their feet faster. For the industry as a whole, this means firms will move from managing claims reactively to becoming customer-focused, agile, and proactive.

It also represents a new level of business engagement, ensuring sharp foresight, rapid response, and fast problem-solving. In fact, these are key attributes of an instinctive enterprise, the next generation of advanced businesses, which combines innovative technology and data with human ingenuity and expertise to function like a living organism, reinventing business models and amplifying workforce potential.

With the ability to draw on vast levels of data and the experience of its people and partners, these organizations can uncover business opportunities, unlock insights, and transform the customer experience. All at lightning speed.

“Companies spend a lot of resources on extracting, cleansing, and compiling information. Then, and only then, can they actually interpret that information—so that analysis often falls far short,” says Kathryn Stein, chief strategy officer at Genpact, the global professional services firm. “The power of an instinctive enterprise is in its ability to quickly tap into the business’ data and knowledge and generate predictive insights.”

These capabilities signal a transition toward more unified processes, systems, and data structures in which the workforce can make decisions quickly, recognize mistakes, and correct and adapt as necessary.

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A new business model: connect, predict, adapt

Digital innovation has accelerated the speed of the global economy, creating a business environment where fast support and comprehensive service are commonplace. Today’s end-users expect instant, personalized outcomes—whether they’re prospective customers or trusted partners.

As a result, companies must become more aggressive at finding opportunities and being more responsive. The instinctive enterprise takes those capabilities to the next level. It derives power from prediction, reveals new insights, fosters greater organizational collaboration, and accelerates innovation.

Instinctive enterprises thrive through their ability to capture all kinds of structured and unstructured data, process that information, and make it accessible. Networks of connected business end users—no longer isolated within separate business domains—can then use that information to anticipate unforeseen events and act instinctively with the most effective approach.

In addition to connected ecosystems and the power of predictive analytics, the organization’s workforce also gains new skills, working alongside machines, supported by technology. An adaptive workforce can then shift from a merely functional focus to a more resourceful, creative role with a broader palette of opportunities and career paths.

Redefining customer expectation

Through a connected ecosystem and adaptive workforce, companies can quickly mobilize people and resources regardless of function or geography, to pivot and make instant, accurate, and strategic decisions in line with customers’ needs. These businesses can spearhead innovation and capitalize on evolving conditions.

The ability to identify patterns in data through AI and analytics enables people and systems to take preemptive action. They can resolve issues and, in many cases, prevent those problems from ever occurring. This fundamentally transforms the traditional approach to business, in which companies are constantly reacting after the fact to changes in their environments.

An instinctive enterprise enables business teams to collaborate seamlessly and integrate AI and predictive analytics into their workflows. In aviation, for example, airlines can initiate predictive maintenance and proactively schedule repairs by installing remote sensors and using AI to monitor equipment, ultimately extending its life and reducing flight delays for customers.

“Predicting is impactful. But it requires all functional silos and partners to share data that can be easily accessed. An instinctive enterprise reorients how work is done—it’s across silos, not stuck within the silos and boundaries that most organizations were built around,” says Stein.

Such scenarios also exist in the consumer goods and retail industry where order management teams can tap into all relevant internal and external data to anticipate spikes in customer orders, and have goods ready and shipped to coincide with surges in demand. This represents another way that an instinctive enterprise can forecast shortages, anticipate demand, and generate greater efficiency.

Focused leadership is fundamental to the transition toward an instinctive enterprise. As customer expectations rise and technologies disrupt markets, executives must create fertile environments for innovation. They need to foster attitudes that welcome AI integration, understand the value of data, and promote cross-silo collaboration and problem solving.

“Leaders need to model the behaviors that an instinctive enterprise relies on. They need to show that they are curious, ask the right questions, collaborate, elevate the role that they play, and help their teams become more purposeful,” says Stein. “They sponsor uncertainty, take risks, and fail fast.”

With the right leadership and data strategies in place, along with AI embedded throughout the business, instinctive enterprises will unlock unforeseen potential and continue to grow smarter and more agile. As market innovators, they’ll be at the head of the field, reinventing business models, enacting new approaches, and amplifying opportunities for their people.

This article was first published on Fortune.

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