Artificial Intelligence or AI is no longer a futuristic concept.  Starbucks is one example of an organization utilizing the technology in everyday business.  According to Entrepreneur “t the end of January, the company announced that it would offer voice ordering capabilities via Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based virtual assistant with a continuously expanding base of skills. Linking up with Amazon, the coffee giant created a new Alexa skill specifically geared toward ordering at Starbucks. The skill — called Starbucks Reorder — provides users with a voice-activated way to place their typical order (“Alexa, tell Starbucks to start my usual order.”) or check their card balance.”

AI is here and it’s time for your business to start taking notice.  In the coming years, similar to accepting credit card transactions, as AI takes hold of big businesses, smaller firms will be expected to keep up.  Consumers rarely give breaks to smaller organizations not able to accommodate expanding technology, and AI will be no different.  Sure the early stages will be tough, but early adopters in industries such as retail or foodservice and hospitality will want to take a close look at expand over the next few years to create a competitive advantage.

So the time is now to start doing research and creating a future plan for implementing an AI strategy.  If not, your window of innovation may be gone.