At Polyrific, we know that successful AI adoption doesn't happen by accident. It requires meticulous planning and assessment across multiple dimensions. That’s why we developed our robust AI Readiness Assessment (AIRA) methodology. In this four-part blog series, we’ll explore the key areas that AIRA examines to set organizations up for AI excellence. First up is assessing strategic readiness - what it means, why it’s crucial, and what can go wrong when it’s overlooked.
What Does Strategic Readiness for AI Mean?
Strategic readiness refers to the alignment of executive leadership, company vision, and organizational capacity with AI adoption goals. It includes:
- Executive sponsorship and active participation
- A clear roadmap tied to business objectives
- Realistic capability analysis for needed investments
- Identification of high-impact AI use cases
- Competitive benchmarking
Without strategic readiness, companies risk implementing AI tools misaligned with business needs or overall tech stack. Lack of leadership commitment also hinders success.
Why Strategic Readiness Matters
Several high-profile AI failures have demonstrated the consequences of inadequate strategic readiness:
- Microsoft’s Tay chatbot was launched prematurely without ethical safeguards, leading it to generate offensive language learned from users. Microsoft pulled Tay in less than 24 hours.
- CIGNA Health Insurance deployed an improper algorithm that denied insurance claims unfairly, resulting in a lawsuit over unethical AI practices.
- An algorithm called COMPAS used for bail and sentencing decisions in Oklahoma courts was found to reinforce racial biases and had to be discontinued.
In each case, lack of oversight, alignment with organizational values, and stakeholder participation resulted in serious repercussions.
Assessing strategic readiness thoroughly from the start identifies misalignments and governance gaps proactively. It surfaces potential risks early for course correction. This prevents wasted resources and public missteps.
AIRA’s Strategic First Approach
At Polyrific, our staff's decades of collective experience in strategy and AI are baked into AIRA’s methodology. We focus on setting proper strategic foundations before anything else.
While technical readiness is also crucial, our experience shows that strategy must come first. Once leadership is aligned, business objectives are clear, and ethical governance is priority, the rest of the AI adoption journey unfolds far more smoothly.
Stay tuned for the next installments in this series, where we will dive into AIRA’s insights on cultural, technical, and risk readiness!