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Preparing company for AI era (based on T.H. Davenport and S. Dasgupta – How to Set Up an AI Center of Excellence

Thomas H. Davenport and Shivaji Dasgupta publish an article in HBR:


where they touch important subject about setting up independent AI teams inside company structures in order to prepare company for utilising AI in the best possible way.

They see AI Centre of Excellence as structure that will: “Develop AI models and systems, working closely with vendors, building technical infrastructure – in collaboration with an IT organization or outside partners and working closely with business leaders.” Team should address main questions like: “What is AI, what it can do and how it might enable new business models and strategies.”

When setting operational strategy for implementation it is important to balance strategic values with what is achievable, since AI support tasks rather then entire jobs or business process, companies should focus on smaller projects, but in organized way in order for them to lead to the best general improvement.  “Think big, act small.”

In order to start any AI project, company need to have very clear targeted data architecture and do some pre-work on data credibility. Only after this is done we can start with projects.

In order to create the most efficient environment, AI team should coordinate relationships with external partners like universities, vendors, AI start-ups and other sources of expertise and innovation, they should help HR departments to run smart development program in order to acquire and build proper human resources, they should build network of strong and influential business leaders inside the company to act as AI champions and they should take care of promotional component of successful AI projects.

In order not to lose track on AI development, team should be structured as central structure but operationally involved with business units. And since we all know that one of main concerns in AI use is ethnical component of such use, control function is a must inside any AI team.

Having this general guiding lines can help companies to be better prepared to tackle new reality and start faster and more efficiently with use of new technology in order for them to be prepared for what is coming.

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