Best of Business AI 2021 Best of Business AI 2021


Take the lead in your industry with AI

Best of Business AI 2021 invites you to go behind the scenes with 10 leading global organizations using AI to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing their industries—and our world. These visionary organizations are powered by human innovators who combine strategic thinking and cutting-edge technology to create powerful results.

Explore these real-life stories of AI transformation to learn the insights and tactics that have led to success, along with tools and frameworks from the Microsoft AI Business School that will help you empower your organization with AI.

AI is not the future, it’s now

0% of top enterprises plan on increasing AI investments in the next 12 months. [CCS INSIGHT, 2020]

Get your organization ready for AI

Putting AI into action requires balancing a future vision with more immediate opportunities to improve and compete. It entails creating a culture that’s data driven, curious, and committed to the responsible use of AI, then recognizing the technical capabilities you need to make implementation a reality. Most importantly, it means empowering everyone with AI—not just your technical teams.

At Microsoft, we’ve partnered with experts and analysts, and interviewed leaders across different industries to understand how to be successful and lead in the age of AI. The AI Business School offers best practices to support you making the leap, including frameworks that have empowered organizations like yours.

AI is not the future, it’s now

0% of top enterprises plan on increasing AI investments in the next 12 months. [CCS INSIGHT, 2020]

AI-ready organization



Develop your AI strategy to drive impact.


Create an AI-ready culture.


Implement AI responsibly.

Scaling AI

Fuel innovation throughout your organization at scale.

AI for everyone

Put the power of AI in the hands of every employee.

Great AI results depend on the right strategy

0% of digitally mature companies cite innovation as a strength. [MIT Sloan Management Review / Deloitte, 2019]

Develop your AI strategy

With all the opportunities AI offers, it’s easy to get caught up in the possibilities. But where should you focus to create lasting AI value for your organization?

The INSEAD framework aligns your organization’s strategic initiatives and employee skill sets with the capabilities of AI, so you can identify and prioritize use cases based on the value that will be generated.

Industry environment

Assess your external industry environment

Consider factors like shifting buyer behavior, new competitors and business models, changes in government regulations, and new technologies.

Value proposition

Determine your value proposition

Understand how you’re going to measure the impact derived from your AI investments based on the perceived value to your customers.

Organization and execution

Ensure proper execution

Consider the relevant AI skills, capabilities, mindset, and overall state of your organization, so you can execute thoughtfully.

Innovation capacity is the key to long-term success

Only 0% of organizations have scaled AI throughout multiple teams. [Capgemini, 2020]

Scale AI innovation

To progress from small proofs of concept and isolated AI projects to broad adoption of AI in your organization, you need to think about your internal structure, how innovation is fueled across all business units, and how you prioritize and plan AI investments.

Your priorities for scaling AI innovation might include:

Improving core business functions

Use AI to improve or automate existing processes to remain competitive.

Capitalizing on emerging opportunities

Create new services and customer experiences through AI to differentiate from competitors.

Transforming your organization

Create disruptive and innovative business models to cross industry boundaries, and even create new markets.

With AI, data is power

of application development activity 0% will be driven by low-code application development. [Gartner, 2020]

Ensure AI is for everyone

Today, many companies keep AI siloed; the technology is only made available to data scientists and technical teams. Non-technical team members are unable to use these powerful tools to solve operational and organizational challenges.

Putting AI in the hands of everyone in your organization allows you to unlock the creativity and insight of each employee, so you can innovate and respond to business challenges with greater agility.

Culture is as important as strategy

0% of employees at AI-leading firms say their company is preparing them for AI. [KRC Research, 2020]

Transform your culture

Across a wide range of industries and organization types, people are proving to be the key to success for AI projects. So, adopting a new AI solution doesn’t just change the reach and scope of your technology architecture—it impacts your culture and your people. It involves learning new ways to support decision making, collaborate across functions, and help employees gain new AI-related skills. For AI projects to succeed, the teams using this technology must not only accept but be part of the solution.

Initiating culture change requires cultivation of a new organizational mindset; one that prioritizes communication, innovation, autonomy, and training. To create an AI-ready culture across your organization, you can use a change management framework such as Prosci’s ADKAR approach.

Responsibility is key

0% of leaders cite lack of trustworthy AI as a barrier to deploying AI projects into production. [IDC, 2020]

Take responsibility

AI can enhance your ability to be a force for good, confronting global challenges at a greater scale than previously possible.

As with all significant technological innovations, the use of AI can also have unintended consequences, including privacy issues and security breaches.

To anticipate and mitigate risks associated with AI, consider the following in your approach:


Where do you go from here?

To truly harness the power of AI, start by building a culture of experimentation and continuous learning. Instill a core set of principles and goals and specify a responsible way to achieve them.

Learn more by discovering what other companies have done. Take advantage of action guides tailored to your industry. And visit the AI Business School for further guidance.