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Ignoring technological advances is risky and perhaps fatal to many companies, if they do not adapt to the changing environment. Pixabay

If life is like standing on a down escalator - if you are not walking up you are moving downward – the same goes for business. Companies must always keep up with technological trends – or risk losing their market and being driven out of business by either the competition or technology itself.

Today, that threat is manifest in the form of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Doug Gurr, a top AI institute chair and ex-Amazon executive, believes AI will disrupt employment as we know it – but it'll make the world wealthier and more skilled. Billionaire investor Ray Dalio says the AI transformation could create a three-day workweek. In his view, we're "going through a time warp."

Family businesses will need to adapt to changes as well. As noted in Business Insider, according to the 2023 North America Family Business Report, roughly a quarter of family businesses say the priorities of the next generation leaders joining the company are to increase the use of technology and digital transformation.

MIT Technology Review interviewed Keisha Garcia, vice president of Digital Foundations at BP, where she emphasised: "A hybrid approach to transformation that combines cloud migration with the retention of some applications, dedicated data centres, and intermediary migration environments can ensure cost-effective and secure operations."

John Pucadyil at Medium, makes a cogent argument about how technology will change the world.

He wrote: "Every technological advance has changed the way we work. With the plough, the hunter-gatherers became farmers. The spinning jenny and the power loom of the Industrial Revolution transformed farmers into factory workers. With the digital revolution, white-collar workers became software experts. And now, Web3 has the potential to change the way we work."

Pucadyil explained the relationship between technology and the workplace and stressed the cause and effect of technology on the way we work.

"Technology has constantly and consistently transformed the way workers execute their work," he continued.

"It has continually improved working conditions and streamlined tedious processes, improved productivity and efficiency and made work from anywhere easier than ever. Instant messaging and payment are ubiquitous. Access to online communication has enabled closer cooperation and collaboration among workers even working remotely through video-conferencing and document sharing using the cloud."

Ignoring technological advances is therefore risky and perhaps fatal to many companies if they do not adapt to the changing environment within which they operate. In this fast-moving environment, companies that take a wait-and-see approach in terms of AI, for example, are at risk of being left behind.

For any company to succeed over the next two decades, corporate leaders will need to pay close attention to technological trends and developments in the computing field. Whether it is quantum computing or generative AI, new technologies could have a profound effect on a company's bottom line.

According to PR Newswire: "As customers introduce AI into their own processes, job roles are expected to change. Engineering, sales and marketing are among the functions most likely to benefit from AI over the next 18 months. Companies will need more engineering talent for AI and ML, particularly with experience building or integrating LLMs."

Generative AI is set to significantly reshape business operations, especially within the marketing and sales sectors. Its capability to automate various aspects of the customer journey is what makes it particularly revolutionary.

For instance, in the realm of demand and lead generation, traditional methods like generic emails or cold calls might soon become obsolete. Generative AI can personalise outreach by analysing data, ensuring messages are tailored to individual preferences, thereby increasing chances of genuine interest.

Beyond this, the digital sales environment is undergoing changes with the emergence of AI-powered platforms that offer intuitive self-service experiences. These platforms, backed by AI, can recommend products based on a user's history and deploy virtual assistants to answer queries in real time. Beyond sales, AI can also enhance post-sale customer experiences by predicting potential issues and offering proactive solutions, or by streamlining routine support tasks.

On the investment front, there's a palpable excitement about AI's potential in the technology sector. This is evident from the uptick in AI and machine learning investments that dominated venture growth during the first half of 2023. However, the investment landscape isn't without its uncertainties.

The evolutionary trajectory of the competitive AI arena remains a topic of speculation among investors. Those looking to invest in this promising sector are advised to strategically evaluate the disruptive potential of AI across various markets, understand the structural barriers that might hinder AI adoption, and consider the value of proprietary data.

Companies that own unique data can harness it to refine AI models, positioning themselves favourably in the market. With so much at stake, top investment funds aren't idly standing by. Instead, they're proactively leveraging their existing software assets, aiming to ride the wave of the AI revolution and maximise returns.

By Daniel Elliot

Daniel is a business consultant and analyst, with experience working for government organisations in the UK and US. On his free time, he regularly contributes to International Business Times UK.