Artificial intelligence(AI) i experiencing a much anticipated renaissance. Even though some of the most important AI developments of recent years have taken place in the consumer market, the enterprise space is steadily embracing AI technologies.

The opportunities for AI in the enterprise are tremendous. From infrastructure to powering a brand new generation of business processes, most of the capabilities of today’s enterprise can be re-imagined using AI as a foundation. From that perspective, AI has the potential power the next decade of enterprise software. Without a doubt, we are entering the era of the AI-First enterprise.

What is the AI-First Enterprise?

The AI-First enterprise is a business and technical transformation movement that attempts to incorporate AI as a first class citizen of the vast majority of business processes and software solutions in the enterprise. Conceptually, the AI-First business processes evolve from traditional business processes by transforming data into intelligence.

Even though we should think about the AI-First enterprise as a holistic incorporate, there are a few areas that are already becoming relevant in the enterprise. From infrastructure to new AI capabilities in SaaS systems, AI is becoming more and more present in the current generation of enterprise solutions. Let’s explore some of the groups of enterprise software technologies that are rapidly embracing AI.

AI-First SaaS

some of the most relevant software as a service (SaaS) platforms in the market such as Salesforce.com or WorkDay have been actively incorporating AI capabilities into their current stack. Salesforce has been on a shopping spree acquiring AI startups and is about to announce a new AI platform at the upcoming dreamforce conference. WorkDay has not only added AI capabilities to its platform but it also launched a new venture fund focused on machine learning and AI startups.

In the next few years, it is expected that the majority of top SaaS providers will enhance their current feature set with AI-First capabilities. Without a doubt, SaaS providers will be among the first group of mainstream platforms to introduce AI into enterprises.

Vision, Text and Speech Intelligence Services

Technologies such as IBM Watson, Microsoft Cognitive Services or Google Natural Language Processing API enable incredibly sophisticated AI capabilities for analyzing text, speech and vision using simple API calls. This model simplifies the entry point for organization looking to leverage AI capabilities into their applications without investing in complex infrastructures.

AI-first Infrastructure

AI is often seen as a high level application capability. However, some of the most exciting developments in the enterprise AI space are taking place in infrastructure solutions. areas such as networking, threat analysis(security) or log processing (APM) have been quick to embrace AI capabilities as a foundation to their next generation solutions.

AI-First Databases

Databases are another element of the enterprise software portfolio that is rapidly incorporating AI capabilities. The recent release of SQL Server 2016 includes the former Revolution Analytics stack. By expending their feature set with new AI capabilities, databases are in a unique position to influence the adoption of AI in the enterprise.

Custom AI solutions

In addition to leveraging AI features from SaaS systems, infrastructure components or databases, enterprises will slowly start incorporating custom AI solutions as part of their portfolio. We think these AI solutions are likely to start as departmental efforts and slowly move onto enterprise scale solutions.

There are other areas that can also influence the adoption of AI in the enterprise. the ones listed in this article are based on the initial areas of focus of enterprise startups. One thing is certain. In the next few years, AI is called to become of the foundational pieces of enterprise solutions and one that can transform the enterprise we know today.

Written by

CEO of IntoTheBlock, Chief Scientist at Invector Labs, Guest lecturer at Columbia University, Angel Investor, Author, Speaker.

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