Upskilling & Retooling for AI amidst the COVID Crisis

COVID-19 is the most serious health crisis of our lifetime and has disrupted economies all over the world. As the economies begin to reopen, there is no greater need than to reimagine sustainable business models that can survive additional disruptions.

Innovations in AI that were generally considered twenty years out and more in the realms of sci-fi are now getting serious consideration to support a contact-less, secure and health-first business environment.

Companies and employees need to innovate at a serious pace to stay relevant in the marketplace. Many of these challenges are tactical operational challenges and while AI isn’t going to answer all challenges, automation and intelligent decision support would be used at any point to improve speed and safety of execution.

Retooling Organizations

Business leaders need to go beyond daily heroics to keep their businesses alive and determine how they can fast forward the evolution of not only their companies, but their industry.

While not all innovations may involve Artificial Intelligence (AI), now may be an opportunity to think about the following:

  • What long term trends have been “fast forwarded”?
  • What “big automation” that could shape the industry in the next decade?
  • How will the business instrument itself to rapidly predict customer behavior shifts? How quickly can we use algorithms/ language processing to understand the next generation of customers who will fuel growth, post pandemic?
  • How might business boundaries be redrawn, as supply chains and operating models are reconfigured and the public sector resets its role?
  • How will the intelligent long tail of omnichannel strategies shape up; (e.g., buy online pick up at store)  to keep these operations scalable and robust.
  • How can AI/ machine learning build predictability and more resilience into strategy and operations?
  • How can AI and data increase the intensity and speed of our learning as we navigate the uncertainty ahead?

Management needs to do rigorous depressed scenario planning and possible demand recovery to define new ways of working; using automation and AI to define what the business might look like several quarters down the line.

Upskilling Employees to Meet These Opportunities and Challenges

Artificial intelligence has been a growing part of business for years. In 2017, the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that by 2030, 14% of the global workforce will have to acquire new skills or change jobs. Without question, the pandemic has dramatically accelerated technology adoption and the need for employees to reskill/ upskill is drastic.

For reskilling and upskilling employees the following considerations are key:


Ultimately it is human ingenuity that will see your organization through uncertain times. Business acumen and skills necessary to leverage emerging technologies such as AI would be critical to differentiate and scale future business models.

About Chisel Analytics

At Chisel Analytics, we help teams accelerate their digital and analytics transformation by up skilling and training their teams, or finding new talent to make progress on your roadmap. Contact us today to get started.  

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