Rob Valdez, director of cybersecurity and automation services with CPA and advisory firm Kaufman Rossin, describes how artificial intelligence can help companies weather the current coronavirus pandemic, as well as other major supply-chain disruptions.
Artificial intelligence has a role to play in helping businesses to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on their supply chains, says Valdez. It can aid in automating routine tasks while offering greater insight into sales trends, budgeting, customer demand and inventory forecasting.
A.I. has been growing incrementally more powerful for decades. Today, it draws on key data from multiple sources, including finance, purchasing, shipping and logistics, to create a “model of knowledge” that can be used to make better decisions all along the line.
With the maturing of cloud technology comes even greater access to data and the ability to aggregate it in ways that humans and manual spreadsheets can’t do. Analytics can be applied to that information to create managerial dashboards that control all aspects of the supply chain.
Valdez cites the example of the construction industry, which faces extreme difficulties in accurate forecasting in the face of many unpredictable factors. A.I. allows companies to examine multiple scenarios and watch them play out in a virtual mode. In the process, they can settle on the best possible decisions in an unpredictable environment. “That’s a big part of the promise of what A.I. is presenting right now to both small businesses and large enterprises,” Valdez says.
A.I. can also play a critical role in protecting companies from cyber attacks, including hacking, phishing and ransomware. It can detect threats to networks, including unseen signatures and software. However, Valdez cautions, technology tools “are only as good as the decision-making of the people whose hands they’re in.”
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