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Article | Managing Risk

Why businesses getting most value from AI don't have an AI strategy

June 19, 2024

The most effective artificial intelligence (AI) deployments aren’t driven by what the technology can do. Smart AI starts with your organization’s core purpose and putting your customer, not the technology, first.
Risk and Analytics|Corporate Risk Tools and Technology|Cyber Risk Management|Risk Management Consulting

In the face of AI hype, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of your purpose as a business: creating value by responding to your customers’ pain points. We believe the starting point for any organization’s smart use of AI is your core business strategy. The questions the business should be asking itself aren’t, What are we doing about AI? or What’s our AI strategy? but Where can we use AI to accelerate our existing strategy? and How are we assessing where AI can help us solve more of our clients’ problems, faster and better?

To help you make the calls more likely to generate short-term value and longer-term success from AI, in this thought leadership piece we explore how you can approach AI from a business strategy-first stance, calling on our own experience in this space.

Develop your own business strategy-first AI approach

The technology we use, including AI, helps us deliver on our core strategy of simplifying and transforming our business. Looking at another level of detail, our Risk and Broking side of the business has an existing strategic focus on specializing in our clients’ industries and harnessing data to make their risk spend work harder.

By summarizing and analyzing risk and claims data quickly and efficiently, AI enhances our ability to create solutions increasingly tailored to industry-specific risks. AI will also continue to help us collect, aggregate and interrogate proprietary risk data, boosting how quickly and efficiently we can deliver optimized solutions to you.

So, if AI only accelerates how we deliver on our existing strategic focus, where might AI do the same for your strategy? Where can AI support you in doing more of what you do for your customers, overcoming complexity, delivering efficiencies and discovering deeper insights?

These sorts of questions can underscore your strategy-first approach to AI.

Diversify your AI use but don’t get distracted

Deploying AI in different areas simultaneously can prove the right approach.

We’re not putting all our AI eggs in one basket. For example, we’re using AI to systematically translate, extract and analyze data from documents. The technology identifies complex legal clauses and exemptions in policies, getting us quicker answers on whether a policy is right for you.

Our analytical platform Radar is also AI-enabled to deal with hundreds of millions of quotes a day in real time. Connecting Radar with insurers’ policy administration systems ensures real-time decision making. Simultaneously, we’re also exploring ways to use AI to connect you to the right industry-specialized knowledge and wide-ranging capabilities from our global network of talent.

These are just a few of the ways we’re using AI and all of them are aligned with our strategy and known customer needs.

The possibilities of new technologies can be head-turning, but to give your AI investment the best chance of delivering value, you too can’t let the business get distracted from its core strategy and the problems it solves for customers.

Prioritize AI risk governance from the outset

To secure long-term value from AI, you’ll need to balance innovation with risk governance. For our part, we recognize AI and emerging technologies come with risks and challenges we need to address responsibly. The AI guardrails we have in place, and that you’ll want to consider, are:

  • Managing AI risks with an appropriate risk governance framework and protocols in line with industry best practice
  • Assessing how and when to incorporate AI into your systems carefully, balancing boldness with the appropriate caution
  • Ensuring the AI systems you use are designed to protect privacy and sensitive data, avoid bias and discrimination and comply with evolving regulations.

Take ownership of AI and avoid black box scenarios

If you don’t understand what’s going into the technology and what outcomes are arising from it, AI can feel like a black box. This lack of understanding can lead to feelings of disempowerment and uncertainty.

We believe transparency and accountability are vital to protect the sustainability of any AI deployment. Working with internal or external parties who are open about both the inputs and outputs from any proposed AI use will help you retain ownership and alleviate alienation.

AI doesn't need to feel like something you and your business are forced to endure; you should feel like active participants.

The reach and deployment of AI in our systems and solutions, for example, will always depend on whether we assess it as benefitting our clients. For the foreseeable future, we'll also always have ‘a human in or over the loop’ whenever we deploy AI to ensure both best practice and client benefit.

It’s also worth saying how your people don’t need to see AI as a threat to their roles. We, for example, view AI as a talent opportunity. Because it can enable your people, and ours, to do more of what they do better, AI isn’t about taking talent out of the process, but elevating their contribution to it.

Discover more about how we’re using AI to give you a smarter way to risk.

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