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Future of Outsourcing special report 2018

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RACONTEUR.NET 15 Join the global frontrunners in procurement and transform the way you buy business services AI-powered platform Hundreds of business services Dynamic B2B Marketplace Compliant, managed service Thousands of vetted suppliers worldwide Get in touch for a free trial maistro.com | +44 (0) 800 048 8664 | sales@maistro.com Demand for top AI experts and data scientists is far outstripping supply, which is why outsourcing is a compelling option significant portion of that will be outsourced to third-party service providers. Increasingly, organisa- tions are looking at external parties to drive innovation." Advising caution, Mr Dean says: "It's important to note that AI is not magic and it is not always success- ful in finding improvements. But outsourcing provides ready access to the required talent today versus waiting to recruit and hire people, which will be very hard, time con- suming and expensive. "There are millions of AI oppor- tunities across the enterprise, though there is very little off-the- shelf software. AI is a diverse field and often requires and ensemble of approaches to achieve success. It will take multiple years for organi- sations to begin to take full advan- tage of AI, but the sooner business leaders start understanding what AI can do for them, and experimenting with it, the more likely they are to come out on the other side, success- ful in the marketplace." Marco Rimini, chief development officer of Mindshare Worldwide, agrees that AI "if applied correctly, will empower an organisation to oper- ate at levels previously out of reach of manual capability and ability, which in turn will lead to significant oppor- tunities, irrespective of industry". He echoes Cathy O'Neil's observa- tion, in Weapons of Math Destruction, that poorly thought-through AI applications can be highly dam- aging; another reason to engage experienced third parties in the AI space. "If a business incorrectly applies AI, or ignores it, it will enforce negative change and that could be fatally damaging," says Ms O'Neil. Mr Rimini warns that it is criti- cal for business leaders who chose to outsource AI that they guard the most important digital assets and data from the third parties, and deliberate over their business strat- egy, which could be altered unrec- ognisably by potent new technology. He cautions: "Whatever size, you need to invest in-house to deter- mine the role of AI, or risk outsourc- ing the core of your organisation and also becoming overdepend- ent on the outsourcing company, which in a worst-case scenario could become a direct competi- tor," he says. "AI is not an addi- tional service, or function in itself, but can be the heartbeat of a busi- ness. Ultimately, you shouldn't out- source the core of your business." PROS The big positive in outsourcing is that it gives organisations a means of accessing top-level artificial intelligence (AI) experts who are normally extremely difficult to find and would be expensive to have on the payroll permanently. Their day rates might seem high, but they do not compare with the seven-figure salaries if they were full-time employees. Outsourcing opens up AI to benefit more organisations and democratises access to skills… Dr Peter Bebbington, chief technology officer at Brainpool Planning AI projects without previous experience can result in mistakes and even lead to the entirely wrong approach being taken. External providers can draw on experience and knowledge to identify both the right approach and project for the business. Additionally, if a project isn't delivering, the organisation can walk away from an external data company whenever they need to… Richard Potter, chief executive of Peak Companies will naturally benefit from utilising external AI-powered solutions to streamline their business because these providers are tapping into a global network of dynamic, demand-driven data. To try and replicate this scale of data would be a cost-inefficiency, if even possible at all… Mark O'Shea, chief technology officer at Maistro CONS There will likely be a lack of domain expertise when outsourcing to third-party AI developers. This can mean education is required before these developers are able to provide industry-specific AI application. Organisations that choose to outsource also lose the ability to groom their own specialist teams… Nav Dhunay, co-founder and chief executive of Imaginea.AI By outsourcing you relinquish a certain amount of output and control. And outsourcing AI puts pressure on an organisation's "plumbing", which is responsible for transporting the intelligence to the person or process that can actually use it to drive business transformation. It is imperative, therefore, to optimise communication to make sure you get what you want, rather than receive what the outsourcer wishes to give you… Will Edward, chief commercial officer at Autologyx The biggest pitfall in AI, and therefore outsourcing AI capabilities, is the assumption that it will solve everything. Organisations need to apply a level of discovery to their current and, importantly, their future business to determine the applicability of AI. The prioritisation of AI will help business leaders determine where to start and the journey to increase AI, and in turn this will frame the strategy for outsourcing AI… Vinod Patel, managing director of Accenture Operations Insight Pros and cons of outsourcing AI Intelligent automation in business process outsourcing Programmed Programmed, trigger- based automation built to handle structured data and standardised processes Pattern recognition using advanced natural language processing, regression and classification techniques Data processing, primarily through predefined programs and algorithms Adaptive, self-learning and intuitive machines that do not require human intervention Rules-based Supervised and unsupervised Fully autonomous High Level of maturity Low Robotic process automation Predictive analytics Deep- learning Artificial general intelligence Cognitive decision-making via clustering and anomaly detection techniques Both supervised and unsupervised without explicit need for (re)programming Lower levels of human intervention Higher levels of human intervention AT Kearney 2017

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