Competition Will Fuel AI Transformation

Ted Shelton, Partner at Bain & Company

Episode Summary

In this episode, Ted Shelton and Markus Zirn discuss insights into how businesses can leverage automation and AI to improve processes. They delve into real-world applications, use cases, and challenges in implementing these technologies. Ted explains the necessity of adopting a growth mindset to fully embrace and make the most of AI and automation tools. Ted shares his top 5 strategies for how businesses can foster the acceptance and appropriate use of these new technologies among employees.

  • Episode Key Takeaways

    Episode Key Takeaways

    • AI and automation are interconnected: For AI to become a part of our processes, it is inseparable from automation. Automation organizes data for AI models and applies those insights to processes.

    • The real driver of AI-driven transformation is the competition: the ease of access to AI now means competitors have access to the same technology - which is driving a new type of urgency with executive teams.

    • The winners and losers in AI will be decided in three domains. How quickly and successfully companies can harness AI to improve efficiency, experiences, and innovation will decide whether they come out ahead or fall behind in this new era.

    • Generative AI will make companies more proactive with their customers: Cost economics of interacting with customers and proactive customer support are changing, which will ultimately create more value for customers.

    • The process mindset is key in the AI era: Integrating AI into business processes is key, and keeping a process mindset (systems thinking) is even more important.

    • ‘Dynamic and disposable code’ is the future: Ted highlights the emerging concept of ‘dynamic and disposable code’, which breaks away from traditional coding methods. It relies on machines generating code in real-time based on described outcomes, revolutionizing the way humans and machines work together.

  • About Ted

    About Ted

    Ted is a partner in Bain and Company’s San Francisco office, serving clients across multiple industries with a focus on automation, artificial intelligence, and software development. Prior to joining Bain, Ted served in several leadership roles in other consulting firms and as an executive in several Bay Area enterprise software companies. Throughout his career Ted has been focused on the intersection of technology with business strategy, helping companies navigate the changes that they must make to remain competitive as markets are transformed by innovations in customer experience and operations.

    Prior to joining Bain, he served as Chief Customer Officer for Catalytic, Inc. and as the vice president of Cognizant Technology Solutions’s design thinking innovation laboratory, Digital Works. He is a Wiley published author of the book “Business Models for the Social Mobile Cloud” during his time at PwC.

  • Top Quotes

    Top Quotes

    “What happens when I have human level intelligence, albeit with some challenges, for pennies on demand, accessible 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. How does that change all the things that we do? And then the next leap from that is, how does it change what our competitors can do? And that's when the real fire gets started.”

    “Companies should think about what happens in our employee to employee interactions, or our employee to customer interactions, or employee to vendor, or vendor to employee. How will generative AI change this? Are we going to have bots talking to bots? How do we use that to our advantage, but also how do we defend ourselves when the counterparty is actually using it to their advantage?”