Why AI-Search is a Digital Transformation Force Multiplier During a Recession

Are we heading for a recession?

I’m not an economist. I’ll let these professionals forecast and characterize the state of global economies and the financial markets. What I do know is that senior leadership will budget through 2023 based on how the economy and competitive pressures impact their industry and businesses. 

AI-Search - a Digital Transformation Force Multiplier

Experienced CIOs, CTOs, and CDOs (chief digital and data officers) will plan their digital transformation budgets, roadmaps, and priorities accordingly. There’s still pressure to deliver customer-facing innovations, reduce technical debt, and modernize employee workflows. CXOs (CIOs, CTOs, and CDOs) need to be creative about what investments, platforms, and initiatives they prioritize.

I share my opinion on one of these strategic investments in a recently published white paper, Revisit the Importance of Search for Your Enterprise Tech Strategy.

The paper characterizes AI search as a strategic platform that can be a force multiplier and enable CXOs to deliver significant business outcomes in several digital transformation priorities. I then share how CIOs, CDOs, and CMOs can partner on delivering these outcomes and over 20 financial metrics that AI search can impact.

Let me define some terms and explain my position.

What is a digital transformation force multiplier?   

In the paper, I share five attributes of digital transformation force multipliers which I use to characterize cultures, practices, and platforms that can accelerate transformation-driven business outcomes.

Platforms that meet the criteria must enable top-line revenue and growth objectives while also driving cost savings, efficiency, and quality.

Many platform investments can’t achieve both objectives. For example, automation platforms are generally not force-multiplying as they usually focus on productivity-driven cost efficiencies. On the other hand, technologies that drive customer experience improvements may impact revenue, growth, and customer satisfaction — but don’t always contribute to cost savings.

Force-multiplying platforms achieve these objectives by improving customer and employee experiences, delivering innovations and security enhancements, and enabling organizations to operate faster and smarter. I explain more in the white paper.

Why is AI search a force multiplier?

CIO revisit AI-Search platforms

Here are some questions to help illustrate the potential business impacts of using an AI search platform and developing a search center of excellence:

  1. How many platforms, SaaS, and homegrown applications in your organization have an embedded search capability that only accesses a small fraction of information relevant to their end-users?
  2. How much do you invest in devops teams supporting search capabilities in search indexes like Apache Solr, portals like Sharepoint, workflow tools like Salesforce and Workday, and content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, and Sitecore?
  3. Do you ask customers and employees about the overall effectiveness and efficiency of searching the platforms they use routinely? Recent research suggests that only 13 percent excel in enterprise search, so chances are your organization has opportunities to deliver competitive improvements.  
  4. Can your customer support teams easily search all the unstructured data, including social media and other third-party data, about the customer, products, and support information to personalize how they handle a customer issue or request?
  5. Are you concerned about the loss of tribal knowledge because of hybrid working, employee retention risks, and post M&A turnover?

Answering questions 1 and 2 can illustrate the potential to reduce technical debt and costs by consolidating to an intelligent search platform. Questions 3 and 4 show where you can drive improvements in customer and employee experiences. Answering question 5 exposes the risks when organizations underinvest in knowledge management and search capabilities.

AI search is a solution that can address all five challenges, and you can review what to look for and what to avoid when selecting a search platform that is a force multiplier. 

Why invest in AI search now, especially if there’s a recession?

In my post on platforms CIOs should invest in during a recession, I stated, “Retail, ecommerce, and subscription-based media sites can see increased revenue from intelligent search capabilities, and all companies can improve customer support functions and employee productivity.”

But I also see huge potential for AI search in financial services, healthcare, SaaS technologies, and insurance and share use cases on revisiting the importance of AI search for their enterprise tech strategies.

During a recession or times of rapid transformational change, CIOs need several ways to drive business outcomes with a versatile, low-code and pro-code intelligent search platform that devops teams can implement across multiple business units. There are multiple ways to win by improving customer and employee experiences while reducing technical debt and consolidating information silos.

This post is brought to you by Coveo.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Coveo.

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About Isaac Sacolick

Isaac Sacolick is President of StarCIO, a technology leadership company that guides organizations on building digital transformation core competencies. He is the author of Digital Trailblazer and the Amazon bestseller Driving Digital and speaks about agile planning, devops, data science, product management, and other digital transformation best practices. Sacolick is a recognized top social CIO, a digital transformation influencer, and has over 900 articles published at InfoWorld, CIO.com, his blog Social, Agile, and Transformation, and other sites. You can find him sharing new insights @NYIke on Twitter, his Driving Digital Standup YouTube channel, or during the Coffee with Digital Trailblazers.