What AI tools do businesses use today?

What AI tools do businesses use today?

In today’s digital world, it’s considerably harder to name a business that isn’t investing in artificial intelligence (AI) than one that is. From small business startups to multinational enterprises, it seems everyone is looking for the best AI tools to meet their unique needs.

In fact, a report by MIT Technology Review Insights that surveyed C-level executives from 600 global organizations, revealed 100% of them will increase spend on modernizing data infrastructure and adopting AI over the next twelve months. Over four-fifths (81%) expect AI to boost efficiency in their industry by at least 25% in the next two years. And 26% are already investing in generative AI, (while another 62% are experimenting with it).

Businesses are investing in AI both to improve the performance and agility of their own organizations, and to enable their customers to do the same. Here are just a handful of well-known enterprises that are investing in AI capabilities for the benefit of other businesses:

  • IBM launches Watson X: A decade on from the heyday of IBM’s ambitious supercomputer, the company is introducing Watson X, a development studio for businesses to train, tune and deploy machine learning models.

  • KPMG partners with Microsoft: Last year, KPMG and Microsoft announced a considerable expansion of their global partnership that aims to put AI at the forefront of professional services, supercharging the employee experience and accelerating innovation across audit, tax and advisory.

  • Deloitte enables Gen AI: Deloitte is expanding its strategic alliance with NVIDIA to build high-performing generative AI solutions for enterprise software platforms, intended to unlock value for businesses. Use cases for these Gen AI solutions include automated coding, self-configuration, workflow automation and industry-specific insights.

  • Accenture invests in AI: Over the next three years, Accenture has committed to investing $3 billion in its data and AI practice. The goal is to help clients across multiple industries rapidly and responsibly advance AI use to achieve greater growth, efficiency and resilience.

As Julie Sweet, chair and CEO at Accenture explains: “Companies that build a strong foundation of AI by adopting and scaling it now, where the technology is mature and delivers clear value, will be better positioned to reinvent, compete and achieve new levels of performance.”

Applications of AI for businesses 

According to a Forbes Advisor survey, the top five applications of AI tools for business – used by 40% or more organizations – are customer service, cybersecurity and fraud management, digital personal assistants, customer relationship management, and inventory management.

1. Customer service

AI chatbots are frequently used in customer service to streamline interactions, increase efficiency and reduce resolution times. Using capabilities such as natural language processing (NLP), conversational AI and voice recognition, AI chatbots can be used for customer authentication and to resolve simple requests so agents have more time to spend on that more complex customer interaction. 

An AI chatbot can use valuable insights to make proactive recommendations to customers, and can ensure they have round-the-clock support. There are a huge number of AI solutions available to businesses looking for help with customer support, including a tool like Zendesk, Freshdesk or Ada.

2. Cybersecurity and fraud management

Enterprises are increasingly using AI tools to detect and prevent cyber threats, mitigate vulnerabilities, and maintain the integrity of the digital environment. The emergence of generative AI is helping businesses to detect and respond to cyber threats more quickly.

If you’re looking for an AI powered tool to improve cybersecurity, popular options include Darktrace, SentinelOne, CrowdStrike and Vectra AI, among many others.

3. Digital personal assistants

AI powered tools are being used as personal assistants across multiple industries and functions to increase productivity by automating routine manual tasks that would otherwise consume valuable time. With machine learning and NLP capabilities, they can interpret, respond to, and learn from human requests. They can be used for everyday tasks such as calendar management, social media post drafting, real-time translation, and note-taking at meetings.

The role of an AI assistant can vary depending on the function in which they are used. For example, in the sales department they may be used to transcribe calls, compile data and forecast sales. Widely used AI personal assistants include Otter, Clara, Fireflies, ClickUp AI, Notion AI, Bing Chat and Leon.

4. Customer relationship management

AI use in customer relationship management (CRM), is about supporting rather than replacing the sales team. AI technology can help to ingest and centralize customer data to capture the complete lifecycle. This can help to personalize every interaction to improve the customer experience and build strong relationships.

AI can be used to score potential leads so the sales teams know where to focus their efforts, and to recommend the best course of action to drive customer engagement for individual accounts. A popular AI tool for CRM might be Salesforce, HubSpot, Pipedrive, Zoho, Browse AI or Freshsales.

5. Inventory management

Within inventory management, AI can be used to automate tasks and optimize processes, increasing accuracy and efficiency, which ultimately reduces costs and improves customer satisfaction.

AI can be used in inventory management for data analysis, accurate demand forecasting, and real-time inventory tracking, including synchronizing inventory across multiple locations. Combined with automated replenishment, it can help organizations optimize inventory levels to avoid stockouts or over stocking.

Possibilities for an AI tool that will help with inventory management include Cin7, Zoho Inventory, Fishbowl and SkuVault.

While they don’t come within the top five in the Forbes Advisor survey, there are a variety of other business applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning used by a considerable proportion of organizations. Content creation, product recommendations, accounting, wider supply chain operations, recruitment, and audience segmentation are all AI applications used by between 24% and 35% of businesses. 

Business functions driving value from AI 

In addition to considering how AI tools for business are being used, it’s interesting to explore which business functions are currently driving the most value from AI.

According to the latest annual McKinsey Global Survey, the functions benefiting most from cost decreases associated with AI adoption are manufacturing and service operations. These are followed closely by risk, marketing and sales, and human resources.

The report also explores which functions are seeing increases in revenue as a result of AI tool adoption. Once again manufacturing is making the greatest gains, followed by marketing and sales, risk, product development, and human resources. Other functions such as strategy and corporate finance, and supply chain management, are also seeing significant revenue increases as a result of AI technologies.

The McKinsey report also reveals that only 31% of organizations are currently using AI software in more than one business function, but this looks set to change as investment in artificial intelligence increases.  

Celonis AI tools for business 

At Celonis, our focus is on delivering the Process Intelligence that enables any AI algorithm to speak a business’ language. Whether you’re using AI marketing tools, predictive analytics, or content creation applications, those solutions need to understand how work flows through your organization. As our Co-Founder and Co-CEO Alexander Rinke explains in an open letter:

“We’re building a world where every business can make AI work. Where Process Intelligence helps create AI solutions and enterprises that capture the biggest opportunities for companies, people, and the planet.”

We also have AI tools of our own that help our customers make the most of that Process Intelligence. Here are a couple of examples: 

  • LLM for PQL Generation: Created in partnership with Rollio, this AI tool translates user queries into Process Query Language (PQL), the language that we use to turn process data into process intelligence.

  • Process Copilot: an evolution of the LLM for PQL Generation, Process Copilot is a generative AI interface where analysts can converse with the Celonis platform. The tool simplifies and accelerates the process of identifying value opportunities across the organization.

Find out more about how Celonis can make any artificial intelligence tool work for your enterprise.

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Bill Detwiler
Senior Communications Strategist and Editor Celonis Blog

Bill Detwiler is Senior Communications Strategist and Editor of the Celonis blog. He is the former Editor in Chief of TechRepublic, where he hosted the Dynamic Developer podcast and Cracking Open, CNET’s popular online show. Bill is an award-winning journalist, who’s covered the tech industry for more than two decades. Prior his career in the software industry and tech media, he was an IT professional in the social research and energy industries.

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