Leveraging GenAI for business: how Else helps you enhance, advance, and pioneer

In the dynamic landscape of digital innovation, harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer optional—it’s imperative. Organisations seeking to stay ahead must strategically integrate AI into their operations.

Everyone knows this; everyone is saying it. However, we’ve been working with AI in our R&D program since 2018 at Else and for the last two years, we have been commercially engaged with clients to define and design new products and services in AI across loyalty, scam/threat detection, identity, privacy, and trust – so we’re coming at this with some real and relevant experience.

At Else, we specialise in crafting product and service strategies that drive business success through a three-lens approach: Enhance, Advance, and Pioneer. This article delves into these three perspectives, illustrating how Else can guide your organisation in leveraging AI to enhance efficiency, foster growth, and lead transformative change.

Enhance:
Elevating efficiency in current operations

The first lens, Enhance, focuses on making internal work more effective. This involves an approach to integrate AI into existing workflows in order to streamline processes and improve productivity. Think of it as using AI as an Assistant, doing things for you.

At Else, we help businesses identify key workflows ripe for AI enhancement, which means splitting everyday tasks into two buckets – manual tasks and cognitive tasks. Manual tasks includes tasks that just take time to churn through, like summarising product feedback, whereas cognitive tasks are where we apply our smarts and intuition to connect ideas. More of the latter, please. The name of the game is to pass any manual labour to a suitable AI (which necessitates a view of what different AI’s are good and bad at), freeing up more time for cognitive efforts, the human bit. The bit where we excel.


Photo by: Red Zeppelin

 

This process follows four steps:

  1. Identifying Workflows

    Pinpointing tasks and processes that can benefit from AI integration. For example, creating project plans, conducting workshops, or generating mood boards.

  2. Prioritising by Suitability

    Evaluating workflows based on effort, frequency, and the importance of validation to determine which tasks AI can effectively support.

  3. Breaking Down Workflows

    Deconstruct workflows into constituent steps and identifying which steps AI can perform faster or more accurately. For instance, using AI for data analysis, meeting preparation, and note-taking.

  4. Piloting AI Solutions

    Experiment with AI tools in selected workflows to assess their impact. This may initially slow down tasks due to the learning curve but ultimately aims to increase efficiency and output quality.

A case in point: Else recently worked with a product team within mobile telco O2 to identify and enhance their workflows. Some team members had not used a large language model (LLM) before, and there was apprehension associated with starting to use AI. By guiding them through the process of identifying suitable workflows and implementing AI pilots, Else helped reduce this apprehension.

“In a recent global study, Ipsos found a sharp increase in worry among residents of each of 24 countries surveyed in July 2023 trended from earlier research in late 2021… by a 2-1 ratio people are worried about AI rather than filled with wonder.”

IPSOS: What the Future Intelligence report 2024

Advance:
Driving innovation and growth

If Enhance is about efficiencies, finding opportunities to hand over and speed up some of our more mundane and repetitive tasks, the Advance lens focuses on leveraging AI to take aspects of an existing product/service and do it better. It’s also about finding ways to innovate rapidly by responding to market opportunities and threats. Think of it as using AI as a strategic thought partner, a tool for building and expanding with you.

Here, AI is leveraged to enhance current products and services and create new ones, and this approach can be both internally and externally focused.

We believe that the emergence of AI effectively presents us with new smart materials for creating products and services. Building upon the foundations of the Enhance stage, by working with AI tools in repetitive manual tasks, teams can learn what this new material or building block offers and, subsequently their ability to exploit AI to improve the CX of their products/services, increases.


Photo by: Marek Piwnicki

 

Else assists organisations in

  1. Enhancing Products and Services

    Using AI to improve the features and functionality of existing offerings. For example, enhancing a telco loyalty app to provide more personalised and relevant rewards.

  2. Generating Ideas

    Using AI to brainstorm and develop new features, products, or services. For example, generating ideas for new services in a customer loyalty program.

  3. Setting Up an AI Innovation Practice

    Establishing dedicated teams and practices to continually explore and implement AI-driven enhancements. This involves creating a structured process for regularly reviewing and integrating AI innovations into the product and service offerings.

  4. Creating Strategic Roadmaps

    Developing strategic plans to introduce AI-driven innovations swiftly, ensuring organisations can exploit new opportunities ahead of competitors.

Using methods in this approach, Else partnered with GEN to advance their product development through the creation of Norton Genie. Norton Genie was developed to provide personalised scam detection features using AI-enabled technology. The successful pilot launch has now led Norton to integrate the product into it’s overall product portfolio.

Pioneer:
Leading transformative change

In the first phase, the key objective is to automate the leg work. In the second phase, we aim to exploit AI to advance or improve a product/service significantly, whereas in the third, we seek to transform, pioneer new business lines, and invent new product & service opportunities.

The Pioneer lens aims at using AI to create fundamental changes in business models and strategies, where these strategies are likely to be at higher risk but have the potential to have greater longer-term value. 


Photo by: Unsplash+ In collaboration with Galina Nelyubova

This involves:

  1. Speculative Design (which some call Design Fiction)

    This approach explores and imagines possible futures, artefacts and services to provoke discussion, encouraging stakeholders to think critically about probable, possible and preferable futures alongside the implications of emerging technologies and societal trends.

  2. Strategic Foresight

    Leveraging AI to sense future opportunities and threats, building long-term resilience and ensuring the organisation remains relevant.

  3. Disruptive Innovations

    Implementing AI to disrupt traditional business models, fostering innovations that can redefine entire industries.

  4. Building Resilience

    Using AI to develop strategies that not only respond to but anticipate market shifts, ensuring the organisation can navigate and thrive amidst change.

Pioneers at play

Since our inception in 2010, in some form or other, Else has created the space and the time to develop new skills. Our R&D programme enables us the space to explore new trends, technologies, and practices to create thought-provoking concepts and future business ideas.

We use it to stay ahead, advance our thinking and bring that back to our client space, or develop partnerships to launch new products and services. We’re currently exploring AI products and services that cover assistive technology, regulatory changes, Dementia care, closing the skills gap, and travel companions.

How can we help?

There’s a lot of snake oil for sale at the moment, but at Else, we understand that integrating AI into your business is not a one-size-fits-all approach. By evaluating AI’s role through the lenses of Enhance, Advance, and Pioneer, we can help your organisation harness AI’s potential. Whether you aim to elevate operational efficiency, drive innovation, or lead transformative changes, Else provides the expertise and strategic foresight needed to navigate AI as an evolution or a revolution with success.