You Ask, I Answer: Choosing an AI Strategy – Vendor or In-House?

Warning: this content is older than 365 days. It may be out of date and no longer relevant.

You Ask, I Answer_ Choosing an AI Strategy - Vendor or In-House_

Dennis asks, “How do you find the balance between choosing a vendor that provides AI-based solutions versus developing AI capabilities in-house?”

This is a fantastic, complex question that has many different answers. We look at three pillars for this decision – time, money, and strategy. Watch the video to learn which is the most important, and how to make the decision.

You Ask, I Answer: Choosing an AI Strategy – Vendor or In-House?

Can’t see anything? Watch it on YouTube here.

Listen to the audio here:

Download the MP3 audio here.

Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode, Dennis asks,

How do you find the balance between vendors bringing in boxed AI technologies into business and building AI capability in house? It’s a really good question. And it’s a very complicated question. Fundamentally, there’s three pillars and what you have to make this choice, there is time, money and strategy.

Now, at a very basic level, if you’ve got

money, and you don’t necessarily have a lot of time, a vendor is probably the way to go. Because you want to get up and running quickly, you want to start reaping the utility benefits of artificial intelligence as quickly as you can you want which is acceleration, accuracy, and automation, you want things to go faster, you want them to go better, and you want them to be cheap, that we’re free of resources.

So a vendor will get you to that

if time is the priority. If money is is tight, you don’t have a lot of money, you’re gonna have to build a lot of capabilities in house using open source software, my company’s trusted insights, that’s that’s what we’re doing. Because we’re a startup, we don’t have a million dollars to drop on this or that, it’s it is let’s, let’s do the best we can with open source technologies with development platforms like IBM Cloud things that help us get up and running with a minimum of expense. We trade that off in time and, and knowledge instead.

And those are two easy ways to think about vendor versus and house. But there’s a third point, I think the biggest one, which is what is your overall company strategy, there is this popular buzzword right now digital transformation that promises everything those unicorns and puppies and all this stuff.

But fundamentally, digital transformation is about

as the name says, transforming your business to make it a digital business to make it a digital first business. And what that means is that

you’re looking at stuff like overall strategy, corporate responsibility, acquisition, performance, conformance, and humanity.

One of those topics, the acquisition topic is focused around your marketing technology balance sheet, which is an accounting term, but

as it applies to digital transformation, it’s about

data applications, processes, intellectual property technologies.

And what this means is that the things that you use to do marketing from a data perspective, from a digital perspective, our assets, they are things of that heavy, intrinsic value, that

may become a strategic imperative and may even become a line of business. So

a lot of the times we approach AI from a utility perspective, like, Oh, can we just make things better? faster? cheaper? Yes, we can. But we don’t stop to think should we turn this into a business on its own? Let’s say we have your coffee company and euro coffee trees and, and make coffee? Well, sure, you can use AI to, to analyze the results forecast, predict and understand, yep, this is what makes for a successful harvest, where this is what makes for, you know, less access to harvest, you have data, you have a model, and you can use that to grow better coffee trees, awesome.

You could, if you were a digital first business and AI first business,

then take that model, take that data,

extract it, abstract it and apply to other industries apply to anything else that is a growing thing. So you could make a line of business

around selling the data about what makes trees grow? Well,

you could make a line of business around that model, that machine learning model, pick it up and say, okay, maybe want to sell this model to people who grow corn, maybe you want to sell this model, the people who grow rice, maybe one sells model to people who play video games, where they’re growing things in a video game, like Farmville, which is it and it’s and those types of games are incredibly popular games.

But the point is that you’re selling data and assets derived from that data that shows up on your balance sheet that has real revenue, real dollars for your company. And as part of that whole idea of digital transformation, that you’re changing a business to being a digital business powered by artificial intelligence. And so when you we asked about buyer build, when we asked about vendor versus in house, the real question, the big strategic question is, are we going to be using artificial intelligence as a utility application only, I just want to make things work better about more time, I want more better results,


are we approaching a is a transformative technology,

if we’re just doing utility,

go over the vendor round, let them handle all the complexity that goes with building models and cleaning data and all this stuff, you’re gonna have to do some of that, obviously, it’s not magic.

But the utility aspect allows you to just offload the development of the AI technology to the vendor.

If you’re going for a transformative approach. If you want your business to be transformed to be a digital business, you’re going to have to go in house because only going in house allows you to develop the model that you want that you have very fine grain granular control over that you can change around that you can update that you can re prioritize if you even when you go to sell that model. You can return it for other people. You can’t do that with a vendor, the vendor would do that and then obviously reap the rewards doing that. But you as as the company would not be able to reap any significant rewards from doing that.

So that’s the answer is is it a utility or transformative

that should determine buyer build for artificial intelligence? To really good question. It’s a very complicated question. Wow. Das so it’s a good one. So if you have additional questions, please leave them in the comments. As always, please subscribe to the YouTube channel and the newsletter and I’ll talk to you soon. Take care one help solving your company’s data analytics and digital marketing problems. This is trust today and lesson on how we can help you

You might also enjoy:

Want to read more like this from Christopher Penn? Get updates here:

subscribe to my newsletter here

AI for Marketers Book
Take my Generative AI for Marketers course!

Analytics for Marketers Discussion Group
Join my Analytics for Marketers Slack Group!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This