Your SME, AI and the future

Are you curious about how AI could benefit your business?  

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help SMEs improve efficiency, productivity and innovation. 

However, as an SME, you won’t be using AI in the same way big businesses do. It’s more like task automation, basic analytics and employee support. 

Are you wondering what it entails? You probably already use it! Siri? Alexa? Direct debits? See, just helpful, time-saving solutions. Could it help or hinder your business? 

Let’s take a closer look.

Are employees being replaced with robots?

75% of employees are worried that AI will take their jobs. This fear reflects a lack of understanding of how it can be leveraged. It could also reflect how replaceable they are made to feel by the higher-ups.  

It’s important to establish how AI can be a companion rather than a threat. For both employee peace of mind and business growth. There are training programs and resources for employees to upskill and adapt to an AI-enhanced workplace. However, you must recognise the importance of having clear guidelines and policies in place to govern its use. It’s all about education, which starts with you. 

The good 

AI can be useful no matter your industry. It’s about deciphering which of the following your business could benefit from. Which areas could you see an improvement in cash flow, productivity and operations? 

  • Research and data analysis: AI can help you analyse data, enabling SMEs to conduct market research, identify trends and make more informed decisions 
  • Task automation: AI automates repetitive tasks, such as data entry and document processing. Freeing up time and resources to focus on the things you do best 
  • Competitive advantage: Since AI is quite fresh on the market, it can position you ahead of competitors in your industry by making industry-specific data-driven decisions 
  • Employee development: Tools can assist employees in learning and streamlining processes, empowering them with more time and flexibility to develop

The bad

We have to level with you. While AI offers incredible opportunities, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. Here are some potential hurdles to consider: 

  • Dependency on technology: SMEs risk over-reliance on AI technology. There’s a risk that the use of AI tools might restrict workplace learning if employees become too dependent on AI to do their jobs 
  • Monitoring concerns: Implementing AI requires careful monitoring to ensure it functions as intended and doesn’t end up creating a mass of mistakes. Monitoring and proofing AI content can be time-consuming in itself 
  • Lack of Expertise: SMEs might lack the internal ability and resources needed to effectively implement and manage AI initiatives. Without proper guidance and support, you might struggle and fall behind your competitors 
  • Data Privacy Risks: The wrong use of sensitive data could lead to the misuse of sensitive or unauthorised data 
  • Damaged reputation: AI-generated content could raise ethical questions about transparency, reliability and genuine expertise and credibility about your business. 

Dispelling the ugly 

There are things you can do to mitigate these pitfalls as an SME. Most importantly, introducing AI requires seeking education for yourself and your employees. Training programmes ensure that your workforce is equipped with the knowledge to effectively utilise AI that works towards achieving business goals. 

Establishing clear guidelines and policies about the use of AI safeguards against misuse and protects data privacy. Furthermore, seeking external expertise and support can help bridge any gaps in knowledge or resources within your organisation. 

By proactively addressing these considerations, you can harness the transformative power of AI to drive innovation, efficiency, and competitiveness.

The process 

Based on the above, you can begin to form an idea about how AI could work for you. But don’t risk doing it alone. It’s a highly technical subject. 

Tercus HR can put the correct measures in place to get AI working around the clock for you. Our valuable AI Policy framework can be tailored to your business needs. 

Don’t risk being swept under the rug and contact us today.