Bridging The Gap Between Tech and Business to Communicate AI's ROI

April 26, 2024
min read

In our monthly AI experience sessions, we are often asked: "How do I get the non-technical people at my company to see the return on investment of AI?" This question highlights a key barrier to AI adoption. Making the case to non-technical stakeholders for AI projects' business impact and ROI is hard.

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The Communication Challenge

AI projects are often technical. They require data, algorithms, and systems, making it difficult to describe their impact on business goals. It is key to translate this to business value. Non-technical stakeholders think in terms of revenue growth, cost cuts, and customer happiness. They want to understand how AI investments can create an impact by improving a business process.

Non-technical stakeholders are typically concerned with the bottom line and operational outcomes. Thus, the challenge lies in framing AI's technical benefits in terms of business metrics. For example, a data scientist might be excited about a new machine learning model's accuracy. But, a business executive needs to know how this boosts sales or cuts costs.

Bridging the Gap: Aligning AI with Business Objectives

To effectively communicate the ROI of AI projects, it's crucial to align them with the overall business objectives. This means understanding the key performance indicators (KPIs). They drive the company's success. You must show how AI can help those metrics.

Start by finding the main business goals. These could include increasing market share, improving customer retention, or cutting costs. Then, map out how specific AI applications can contribute to achieving those goals. For example, The goal is to increase customer retention. Show how AI-powered personalization leads to higher satisfaction and loyalty.

Frame AI projects as part of business objectives. This will help non-technical stakeholders understand the value of AI investments. This approach shifts the talk from technical details to real business results. This makes it easier to get buy-in and support from key decision-makers.

AI Investment: Mastering ROI Challenges

To communicate AI's ROI effectively, you should frame the benefits in a way that resonates with business teams. Here are some tools and techniques:

AI optimizes operations. It reduces time and cost. It improves output quality. For example, such a system can reduce downtime in manufacturing. This leads to big cost savings and higher productivity. Showcasing such examples can illustrate the tangible benefits of AI.

Cost Savings. Use case studies to highlight examples of how AI reduces costs. For instance, an AI system automates customer service with chatbots. It can handle many inquiries at once. This reduces the need for large customer service teams. By presenting data on cost savings from similar implementations, you can make a compelling case for AI investment.

Customer Engagement. AI-driven personalization has led to better customer retention rates. It has also led to increased sales. For instance, retail companies use AI for personalized recommendations. They often see higher customer satisfaction and increased sales. You can show the impact of AI on customer engagement with before-and-after metrics.

Strategic Decision-Making. It provides examples of how AI analytics enabled better and faster business decisions. For example, AI can analyze lots of market data. It provides insights that help executives decide about product launches or market expansion. Highlighting specific instances where AI has driven better decision-making can underline its value.

Strategies to Overcome Communication Barriers

Overcoming communication barriers is crucial. This is true when engaging stakeholders in AI projects. It is key for success. Here are some effective strategies:

Educational Workshops. Organize sessions that explain AI technologies and their business impacts. Prioritize those that use real-life scenarios and interactive demos. These workshops should be designed to demystify AI and show its practical applications. By involving stakeholders in hands-on activities, they can understand AI and its benefits better.

Success Stories. Regularly share internal and external success stories. These stories should highlight the before-and-after metrics of AI implementations, showcasing tangible results. For example, a case study can show how a company used AI to improve its supply chain. It can be a powerful tool to convince skeptical stakeholders.

Visual ROI Tools use dashboards and simulations. They show the returns from AI investments clearly and visually. Visual tools can simplify complex data. They can also highlight key metrics. This makes it easier for non-technical stakeholders to grasp the value of AI. Dashboards are interactive. They show real-time ROI. They can be very effective in demonstrating ongoing benefits.

Include non-technical leaders in AI planning. This ensures alignment with business goals. Including diverse perspectives helps AI projects meet real business needs. It also makes them more likely to get buy-in from all stakeholders. This approach can also help find potential challenges early. It can also help find solutions that all parties accept.

Implementing AI ROI Communication in Your Organization

To effectively communicate AI's ROI in your organization, consider these steps:

Identify Key Metrics. Find the key business metrics. They matter to your stakeholders. For example, cost savings, revenue growth, and customer satisfaction.

Develop Visual Tools. Create dashboards, infographics, and visual reports. They show AI's impact on these metrics.

Provide regular updates on AI projects. Use visual tools and success stories to keep stakeholders informed and engaged.

Host workshops. These involve stakeholders in the AI planning process. They ensure their concerns are addressed.

Overcoming Objections and Concerns

When talking about the ROI of AI projects, you must expect and address objections and worries from non-technical stakeholders. Some common concerns include:

Cost. Emphasize the long-term savings and efficiencies of AI. They outweigh the initial investment. Job Displacement: Show how AI can add to human abilities. It won't replace jobs. It will create new opportunities and roles. Data Privacy and Security: Assure stakeholders that robust data governance and security measures will be implemented to protect sensitive information. Address these concerns proactively. Give clear, data-driven responses. Doing so can build trust in the value of AI investments.

Wrap Up

Discussing the ROI of AI is more than simply showing numbers. It's about making them part of a larger story that supports your company's goals. At, we help you build this bridge. We use techniques from business case templates to AI workshops, ensuring all stakeholders understand the value of AI.

Want Help?

We provide expert guidance so you can use AI to lift business performance. Schedule a strategy call if you want to learn how we can bring the AI Design Sprint to your team, department, or organization.

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