AI tools offer innovative solutions in just about every area of business. Companies are increasingly turning to AI to automate repetitive tasks and complex processes that humans previously did. The adoption of AI for businesses increased from 20% in 2017 to 50% in 2022, and organizations that see the highest financial returns from AI continue to gain a competitive advantage. But how do you know which software will give you the best return on investment for your business to help you gain that competitive edge?
We analyzed the features, capabilities and underlying AI technology of hundreds of AI tools for a variety of business needs. Then, we chose eleven tools based on their technology, positive feedback, ability to automate complex tasks, and useability.
How to find the right AI tool for your business
We all know the multiple benefits AI tools can provide. It’s no surprise that Forty-four percent of business owners identified increased productivity through automation as the most substantial value realized by adopting AI. And there are a host of other benefits too.
But choosing the right software is key to making sure that you’re going to reap all its benefits. So here are the essential steps and considerations you need to take to ensure you choose the right one.
Get everyone on board
Thirty-seven percent of executives think their organization's business leaders haven't fully grasped the critical role AI and machine learning (ML) will play. Successfully adopting AI typically requires a major cultural shift within the organization. So, when planning to adopt AI tools, it's important to ensure all stakeholders, particularly top management, are on board with the decision.
Determine your aims
Todd Lohr, Principal, US Technology Consulting Leader at KPMG LLP, states that business owners must be clear about their aims to leverage AI successfully. He says, “Top organizations view AI as a technology to solve a specific business challenge. They don’t treat AI as a hammer looking for a nail… they stay true to their business strategy and use AI as an accelerant.”
In a recent study, researchers investigated why some companies struggled to scale their adoption of AI and didn’t gain tangible value from its adoption. They concluded that successful leaders in the field first identified AI business opportunities and established a concrete vision.
So, establishing your aims for adopting AI tools is a crucial first step.
Understand your business needs.
There are numerous ways in which AI tools can be employed for businesses, and the introduction of AI is gaining momentum fast, so new ones are now becoming available all the time. Some of the ways in which they can currently be used include:
- Project management
- Content creation
- Revenue management
- Data analytics
- Video editing
- Customer service
- Social media management
- Website building
There’s a good chance that if you have a business problem that needs solving, there’s an AI tool that can help. So, to choose the right tool, assess your business's specific challenges and needs. Find out the problems and challenges you need to address most urgently and address those problems first.
Research available AI tools
Get an overview of the different types of AI tools available for the problems you want to solve. Sources of Information include industry reports from organizations such as Gartner and Forrester, technology websites, and professional websites and forums. Criteria you’ll need to consider include features, scalability, ease of use, and integration capabilities.
Besides looking at a tool’s features and capabilities, it’s important to consider exactly how relevant it’s going to be in the future.
The recent turmoil at OpenAI has brought to the forefront the potential vulnerability of apps that rely on OpenAI’s API. There’s no doubt that OpenAI has provided many benefits to developers and users. But should it run into more problems, or make significant changes, apps that are heavily reliant on it could also face problems in the future.
There's no need to rule out software if it does rely on OpenAI’s API, but it is a factor you might want to take into consideration.
Assess compatibility with your existing tech stack
Assess the compatibility of your proposed software with your existing tech stack to avoid technical problems and the need to invest in creating custom integrations.
Evaluate the potential ROI
Estimating the costs of a new AI tool isn’t always simple. You’ll need to consider both the initial and ongoing expenses. Initial costs might include the purchase of the software, data migration, system integration, and customization. Ongoing expenses include subscription fees, maintenance, updates, scaling costs as your needs grow, and training for employees.
To evaluate the potential ROI of adopting a new tool, measure the tangible benefits, such as increased efficiency and revenue, against these costs.
Review vendors and customer support
Research the reputation and reliability of the vendor through reviews and testimonials from current users.
Also, consider the availability of good customer support and training, which are key to ensuring effective use of the tool.
Test the software
Many companies offer a free trial before you commit to buying. Trialing the software allows you to assess how well it meets your needs and its compatibility with your existing systems and to identify any potential problems with its implementation.
11 of the best AI tools for businesses
After the initial planning, research, and testing, it’s time to analyze the data and feedback you’ve gathered and make a decision. To help you in that process, we’ve compiled a list of the top AI-powered tools in various fields to give you a taster of what AI can do. These include tools for task management, video editing, automatic transcription, SEO, content writing, revenue management, predictive analytics, customer service, cybersecurity, social media management, and website building.
1. Motion for task management
Motion is an AI calendar app and productivity tool ideal for task management and project management for teams and individuals. It builds a custom schedule around all your tasks and meetings to help you finish more quickly. There are three main features: tasks, calendars, and a booking system.
Motion’s intelligent calendar automatically plans your day considering the priority of tasks, hard and soft deadlines, working hours, meetings, and when you’re available to work.
Altering the scheduled times of tasks and events is as easy as dragging and dropping them into a new slot.
Motion can create time blocks specifically reserved for uninterrupted work. During these blocks, other meetings or less important tasks are prevented from being scheduled, helping you stay focused when needed.
Motion allows you to create a custom meeting booking page where clients can book meetings with you. You can determine how far ahead guests can book meetings, set your preferred meeting times and limit the number of meetings per day. The booking system automatically syncs with Motion’s calendar.
Motion integrates with several other apps, including Google, Microsoft and Apple calendars, and it’s available as a web app and a mobile app.
2. Descript for video editing
Descript is a video editing software that uses AI to automate and simplify various parts of the video editing process.
Its standout feature is the ability to edit audio and video content by editing text in a transcript automatically produced by AI.
Among other capabilities, it has a feature called “Find Good Clips,” which uses AI to find the best short clips from a longer video, which are ideal for use on social media.
Descript uses its own AI technology developed by its AI research division, Lyrebird.
It’s an excellent tool that is particularly useful for anyone who uses video for their business but might not have traditional video editing skills.
3. Fireflies for meeting transcription
Fireflies.ai is an AI-driven tool designed to improve meeting productivity. It offers automated transcription, allowing meeting participants to focus on their conversations without taking notes. Fireflies.ai can also record meetings, providing a valuable resource for those who want to revisit discussions or for team members who couldn't attend.
The AI-generated transcripts are searchable, making finding specific points in a conversation easy. The software integrates with popular conferencing platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams. Its collaborative features allow you to share meeting highlights and transcripts with colleagues. This is particularly useful for teamwork in remote or hybrid work settings.
Fireflies’ meeting AI assistant “Ask Fred”, is powered with OpenAI's GPT technology.
4. Frase for SEO
Frase is a content optimization tool for SEO and content marketing. Its purpose is to help content creators research, write, and optimize content more efficiently so they can improve search engine rankings.
It automates the research process, provides content briefs, and analyzes the top-performing web pages. Key features include AI-assisted writing to quickly draft articles, SEO recommendations for better search engine rankings, and identifying trending topics and frequently asked questions.
Frase makes content production easier and optimizes it for search engine visibility, making it ideal for content marketers and SEO professionals.
Frase uses OpenAI's latest generative AI models.
5. Jasper for content writing
Jasper is an AI-powered content generation tool designed to help with various writing tasks and streamline the content creation process. Its main function is to generate high-quality written content, such as blog articles, marketing copy, and emails. Jasper uses advanced AI algorithms to understand the context and easily produce engaging and relevant content. You can ask Jasper to write in various tones and styles and give directions according to your objectives. It's a useful tool for content creators, marketers, and businesses looking to create high-quality content quickly and efficiently.
Jasper's AI engine offers access to large language models including OpenAI, Google, Anthropic, and its own customized model.
6. Clari for revenue management
Clari is a revenue operations platform designed to make business sales processes more efficient and predictable. It provides valuable insights and forecasts using AI and machine learning to analyze data points across the sales pipeline. This helps sales teams to better understand risks, identify opportunities, and make data-driven decisions.
Clari integrates with existing CRM systems, offering an overview of sales activities. It enables sales and marketing teams to collaborate and helps organizations improve their revenue operations to achieve more predictable growth.
Clari’s RevGPT is built into the Clari revenue platform and uses OpenAI’s ChatGPT to give companies the ability to get answers to their revenue questions.
7. Pecan for predictive analytics
Pecan is a predictive analytics platform designed to simplify the process of data science and predictive modeling. The software focuses on reducing the complexity typically associated with data analytics. It enables data analysts to build and deploy predictive models without extensive coding or deep technical knowledge.
Pecan uses advanced natural language processing (NLP) algorithms powered by OpenAI’s GPT language models to analyze historical data, helping businesses forecast future trends, customer behaviors, and potential risks.
It’s particularly useful for marketing, sales, and operations, where predictive insights can drive decision-making and strategy.
8. Tidio for customer service
Tidio is a live chat and chatbot software designed to improve customer communication and services for businesses of all sizes. It combines live chat, chatbots, and messaging services into a single interface. Companies can engage with customers in real time and automate parts of their customer support.
Tidio's AI-driven chatbots can be programmed to answer common customer queries, gather information, and help with various customer interactions. This can greatly increase efficiency and improve response times for customer service.
The platform is user-friendly and easily integrates with various website platforms and e-commerce tools. Tidio is particularly beneficial for improving customer satisfaction, boosting sales, and providing support without the need for extensive human resources.
Tidio’s conversational AI chatbox is built on Lyro, its own AI technology.
9. Darktrace for cybersecurity
Darktrace is a cybersecurity software that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to protect against a wide range of digital threats. It identifies and responds in real time to unusual behaviors and potential threats in an organization’s network. The software can self-learn and evolve, which means it can keep up with the constantly changing landscape of cyber threats.
It's particularly effective in detecting subtle threats that traditional security tools might miss.
Various organizations use Darktrace to safeguard their data and digital infrastructure from sophisticated cyberattacks, data breaches, and insider threats.
The Darktrace Cyber AI Research Center is constantly creating new AI models, among them their unique proprietary large language models, which are integrated throughout Darktrace's Cyber AI Loop.
10. Lately for social media
Lately is an AI-powered marketing software designed to streamline content creation and social media management. Its standout feature is the ability to automatically transform long-form content, such as blog posts, webinars, or podcasts, into multiple social media posts.
Lately's AI analyzes your social media data to identify your brand's most effective keywords and messaging strategies so the generated content resonates with your audience.
The platform also includes tools for scheduling social media posts, tracking performance, and collaborating with team members.
This makes Lately particularly useful for marketers and businesses looking to improve their social media presence, save time in content creation, and ensure their messaging is consistent across all channels.
Lately uses its own proprietary language models throughout its platform.
11. Jimdo Dolphin for website building
Jimdo is an AI-powered web-building platform designed for ease of use. It’s an excellent tool for small business owners and individuals who want to build their own websites quickly and easily, regardless of technical skill.
Jimdo uses AI to simplify the entire website creation process. Users start by answering questions about their business or personal needs. The AI then automatically uses these responses to generate a customized website, including layout, design, and initial content.
Key features include intuitive design tools, e-commerce capabilities for online stores, and SEO optimization.
Jimdo Dolphin is a proprietary AI technology developed by Jimdo.
Choose the right AI tool and transform your business performance
Purchasing AI tools for business needs plenty of forethought and planning. You must determine your aims and understand your business needs to get the best tool for the job.
AI has a role to play in so many areas of the business landscape, and we’ve given you just a few examples of where and how it can be used to automate and simplify complex tasks that otherwise can take up so much time.
Motion is an excellent example of how leveraging AI can streamline your business processes and skyrocket your productivity.
If you want to discover how Motion’s powerful AI calendar app can help your business, try it today for free!