We’ve been providing our clients with kick-ass IT and Cybersecurity services in Calgary and beyond for over twenty-five years, enabling them to stay at the cutting edge throughout many changes in technology. The latest—and potentially one of the most exciting—developments in the business and technology space over the last two years has been the increasing buzz around, and adoption of, AI. 

Our team has seen the shift noted by Microsoft’s Jessica Hawk when she noted that, “Over the past year, the conversation has started to shift from ‘if’ AI can help a company achieve their goals—now it’s ‘how’ and ‘how fast can we do this’.  

The increasing enthusiasm for these solutions is no surprise since AI tools can bring incredible efficiency and ROI to businesses across all fields.  

According to Microsoft’s 2023 study, What Can Copilot’s Earliest Users Teach Us About Generative AI at Work, this AI tool brought serious benefits in terms of efficiency and productivity: 

  • 70% of Microsoft Copilot users said they were more productive, and 68% said it improved the quality of their work.
  • Overall, users were 29% faster in a series of tasks (searching, writing, and summarizing).
  • Users were able to get caught up on a missed meeting nearly 4x faster.
  • 64% of users said Microsoft Copilot helps them spend less time processing email.


Five Key Questions To Ask Around AI Adoption

Whether you’re an early adopter who always planned on adopting AI at scale, or have more recently decided that it’s essential to stay ahead of the competition, it is important to have the right measures in place before implementing this tool, and to roll it out safely and securely. 

The importance of not just rolling out AI, but doing so successfully, is essential, and it’s top-of-mind for many business leaders. Before implementing AI, ask yourself, do you share any of their concerns?


1. Does your business have an AI adoption plan in place?

Data reveals that 74% of Canadian leaders recognize the urgent need to adopt AI to stay competitive, but 59% are concerned that their organization lacks a concrete plan. 

This highlights the need for: 

  • a clear strategic vision
  • a detailed implementation roadmap with specific milestones
  • robust data governance
  • guidelines to address privacy, security, and ethical concerns
  • investment in AI talent and training

At Expera, we’ve created some resources specifically for business owners in this area. You can join our mailing list to get a copy of our Guide to AI Adoption, along with an AI security policy template. These tools are easy-to-follow guides created specifically for business owners and executives. 


2. Do you know where your sensitive, business-critical data is, and have access controls in place before rolling out AI?

When it comes to risks associated with AI use, 80% of leaders cite the leakage of sensitive data as their primary concern. And, what’s more, over 30% of decision-makers say they don’t know where or what their sensitive business-critical data is. 

An example we often give at talks is that AI tools don’t necessarily provide team members more access than they already have, but it does shine a light on where businesses need to implement better access control.  

Want to learn more? Sign up for our upcoming webinar on unleashing AI for your business


3. Have you chosen the right tools? Do you need to worry about “Shadow AI?”

We often get questions like, “which is better, ChatGPT or Microsoft Copilot?” at talks, conferences, and trade shows across Canada. This highlights a need to understand the tools and solutions available, especially since 79% of Canadian AI users are bringing their own AI tools to work.   

While this demonstrates that many workers are excited to harness these powerful solutions, “Shadow AI” (which refers to AI applications and tools given without the explicit approval or oversight of an organization’s IT department) can become a problem if staff are using less secure solutions or are inputting confidential data into these tools.  

Because of this, businesses must ensure that they choose the right solutions in terms of security and functionality.  


4. Have you considered the potential of people getting access to information they aren’t authorized for?

Another question business leaders have around AI adoption of AI is the potential of people within their organization getting access to information they aren’t authorized for as they adopt AI technologies. To give a simple example, if a document containing salary info is stored within a shared folder, it might not be obvious that it’s there, but with an AI tool, anyone with access to that folder will likely be able to quickly get the info by asking the AI solution for salary data. For this reason, it’s essential to carry out a thorough review of permissions and access control measures before rolling out AI, ensuring that only authorized personnel have access to critical data and systems.


5. Are you concerned about leakage of sensitive data outside of the organization?

In addition to concern about data leakage within a business, we also hear that business leaders are concerned about the leakage of sensitive data outside their organizations. To combat this, businesses should ensure that they use secure tools, have data encryption in place, conduct regular security audits, and establish clear data handling protocols. Our team is able to recommend Data Loss Prevention (DLP) tools and solutions like Microsoft Purview to monitor, manage, and protect sensitive information. 

Not Sure If Your Business Is Ready to Adopt AI? 

If any of these questions or concerns resonate with you, connect with us for a complimentary AI readiness assessment. Our team of experts can help you tackle all of your AI adoption needs, evaluate your existing AI posture, and help you determine what steps need to be taken to help you utilize AI to its fullest extent.