The automation trends for startups change from year to year as artificial intelligence (AI) advances. The pandemic of the last couple of years forced more companies online and moved customers to a more digital interface.
Around 58% of B2B companies use marketing automation to attract and interact with leads. The more processes you can automate, the more time is freed up for creative activities. Embracing the latest AI and automation trends helps you gain an edge over the competition.
Future predictions of AI
AI trends look bright going into 2022 and beyond. Researchers at Gartner recently shared that AI software revenue will hit approximately $62.5 billion this year, with an increase of about 21% over last year. With all the growth in the automation arena, what are the top AI trends companies should consider? Here are the predictions for what will be on-trend for the rest of the year and how startups can jump into the fray.
Trend #1: Human resources will rely on automation
No matter what industry you’re in, human resources (HR) files a ton of paperwork before, during and after someone works for you. Companies are more often turning to ways to digitally automate these tasks.
Third-party employee recruitment sites now allow candidates to upload their resumes and cover letters. You can have them fill out pre-start forms online and keep digital accounts. The more work they do, the more time it saves your HR department.
Trend #2: Inventory management meets AI
One of the AI trends we’ve been seeing for a while is inventory management tasked by computers. Experts estimate smaller stores can save as much as $6,000 a year on inventory-related labor costs when they automate processes.
Automated inventory management systems track sales and purchases to show current stock levels. Some systems even reorder when you get low in popular products. Your employees will have more time to focus on organization and figuring out new items customers might like.
Trend #3: Companies will embrace cloud computing
With more employees working remotely, one big AI trend is getting company data into the cloud. Cloud computing allows brands to work from anywhere. Staff in the field can easily access information, and reports become more intuitive.
According to a study by McKinsey, companies were able to reduce IT incidents about 70% by using cloud computing. Anything you can do to protect customer data and better analyze your business model helps your company grow.
Trend #4: Communication goes digital
Companies such as Slack and Zoom allow brands to talk to workers around the globe. A quick meeting no longer requires an airplane ride to another city. One thing the pandemic taught startups was how easy it is to do business from anywhere with anyone in another location.
Although the world is already global, digital communication advances are making it more so. One big advantage to communication platforms is the storage capabilities. Brands can save a conversation they had with a client and refer back to specifics later.
Trend #5: Connecting to the IoT
The number of devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) grows daily. If your company isn’t already tapping into the power of apps and devices to create a better customer experience, you’re missing out.
Some ways brands might use IoT include sending a ping to a customer who passes by your building, tracking weather for employees as they commute into work and creating an app to help your customers with some pain points they face.
For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield has a couple of apps that help customers handle health care. One shows benefits and doctors who take their insurance. The other lets people schedule a telemed appointment and talk to a licensed medical professional.
Trend #6: Personalized experiences continue
For years, people clamored for more personalized experiences with brands. They don’t want to feel like another face in the crowd. Consumers want to know companies care about them as individuals and understand their needs.
Enter AI automation. Customer habits are now tracked across Internet search engines and social media sites. You can even pay attention to behaviors on your website and past purchases. Startups can speak directly to different segments of their audience by using this information.
For example, if your twentysomething buyers almost always buy a particular product, you can inform them when you get something similar to what they already purchased.
Trend #7: More automation in customer service
Expect to see even more customer service automation throughout 2022. AI is to the point that a computer can have an almost humanlike interaction with your customers. Program your chatbot to answer the most common questions and gather the details needed for a human agent to solve problems on the fly.
You save money because you’ll need fewer customer service agents and be better equipped to help customers with their needs. For example, if customers are confused about how to turn on a particular product, you can program the step-by-step instructions into your chatbot. No longer will an agent have to go over the same material ad nauseam. The computer will do it for them.
Trend #8: Machines and humans work side by side
2022 won’t look like something out of a sci-fi film, but there will be even more work automation. You’ve likely noticed the machines in fast-food restaurants such as McDonald’s taking the place of cashiers.
Computers won’t do away with all jobs, but they’ll make tasks much easier for people. Human creativity is not yet something any computer can match. Freeing up your employees’ time gives them a chance to really tap into the creative side and come up with solutions no one else has thought of.
Where will the year take us?
Computer learning changes by the millisecond. Machines get faster, smarter and more humanlike by the day. Wherever 2022 takes us, expect to see impacts on your startup as you move forward. Companies should embrace the changing trends or risk falling behind.