AI is among the most important tools in a digital-first era that unlocks enormous benefits and values for its adopters. However, before making an AI investment, there is a range of factors that business leaders must consider to avoid wasted investment and failed projects. 

to evaluate AI solutions and vendors, several key factors must be considered

How can your organization evaluate AI solutions and vendors and choose the best fit? In this article, GEM presents the must-know criteria that will help your organization navigate toward the most suitable picks.

Wanna speed up and simplify your vendor selection process even more? GEM’s got you covered with our latest FREE and ready-to-use RFP templates.

How to evaluate AI solutions? These 4 factors will help!

The wide number of use cases across different industries has underscored the transformative influence of AI solutions. So how can your business evaluate AI solutions and know which one will be a fruitful investment?

Understand the business use cases

To decide whether an AI solution is going to be helpful for your business, the first step is to know the business problem that it is intended to solve. Therefore, senior executives and business leaders should pinpoint the key challenges that they are facing and figure out what outcomes they want to achieve when they evaluate AI solutions. This knowledge allows them to focus on the relevant use cases that will create the most significant impacts and ROI. 

understand business use cases to evaluate ai solutions

Analyze the solution’s requirements 

When decision-makers evaluate AI solutions, it is essential to gather and analyze the specific requirements and features of the solution to measure its relevance:

  • What subfield of AI is in use and whether it can address the assigned tasks?
  • How customizable and flexible the solution is to match the unique needs of the business?
  • What is the level of scalability of this solution when it needs to match the business’s evolving needs?
  • How easy it is to integrate the solution into the business’s existing infrastructure and systems?
two woman discussing

Investigating these factors is important in minimizing disruptions and enabling a smooth transition when adopting the new AI solution. 

Make sure it complies with data security standards

To function properly and yield accurate outcomes, AI systems and solutions require access to an enormous volume of sensitive data. Therefore, maintaining the right level of data security and privacy with the solution you choose will protect your business from getting in trouble with the laws and the legit rights of your end-users.

ensuring data protection and privacy

Estimating the overall cost accurately

When you evaluate AI solutions, the overall cost is directly correlated to the final ROI of the AI investment. Therefore, yielding an accurate estimation is recommended. The solution’s cost includes both the initial prices of purchasing or developing and the later costs of maintaining, updating, managing, and post-delivery support for the solution. Additionally, business leaders should factor in the costs of training staff on how to leverage the solution in their workflow

estimating cost

5 factors to help you evaluate AI vendors

Picking the AI vendor with sufficient tech expertise and delivery capabilities will help accelerate your business’s AI-enabled ambitions. Among the vast number of AI vendors, how can your organization choose the best fit? Here are 5 factors to bear in mind when shortlisting and picking a vendor that will help you head to success – according to Forbes.

Expertise and skillset – What exactly can the vendor offer?

When they evaluate AI vendors, business stakeholders should understand the exact skillsets and fields of expertise that can be offered – such as what tools and programming languages the vendor uses and how strong their delivery capability is.

woman talking to an AI vendor

Business leaders and investors are encouraged to talk to the project’s technical leader to find out the quality they can expect. This knowledge is highly meaningful for your AI project since it demonstrates what value will be derived from their investment.

In addition, vendors who have worked on similar projects and with similar companies can be preferable choices. The proven exposure and insights they have gained are indeed helpful. 

Business approach – Do you and your AI vendor share the same values?

Understanding a vendor’s business approach is especially important if a business is looking for a long-term tech partner. Beyond the tech stack and expertise, if the vendor offers poor customer service or does not share a vision of a sustainable solution, they may not be a good fit in the long run. 

business client and ai vendor discuss

Having extensive discussions with the vendor’s senior executives can yield insights into this matter and help a business client determine how much the two sides can see eye to eye. 

Reputation – What do past clients and partners say about the AI vendor?

Thanks to the power of the Internet, learning about a vendor’s reputation and credibility can be fairly quick and easy via its social media or various listing sites. These platforms also offer a closer insight into how past clients feel about a particular service provider, which is an extremely helpful input when you evaluate AI vendors.

customer review

Budget – What is the overall cost and how will it be used?

While cost-saving is a well-known benefit when businesses evaluate AI vendors, it is not recommended to compromise on an AI solution’s quality and reliability. Accepting deliverables that are below the desirable standards can lead to added costs for fixing and serious delays – which may cause thousands of dollars of damage. 

calculating ai cost

In addition, business leaders should look for vendors whose pricing plan clearly enlists all categories of work and accurately depicts how the budget will be utilized. 

Data security – How well can the vendor protect your database?

Partnering with an AI vendor means granting access to a large amount of potentially sensitive data. Therefore, data security is a key point of consideration at the meeting table. Questions to ask when you evaluate AI vendors may include: 

  • What measures does this vendor take to prevent breaches and ensure data safety?
  • Are they willing to a nondisclosure agreement?
  • Can they meet your business’ data security requirements and policies? 

Closing remark 

It can be overwhelming to evaluate AI solutions and vendors to find the best pick – given the large number of available options. The above points of consideration can be helpful indicators for decision-makers when they shortlist and choose an AI solution and vendor capable of delivering real business values. 

Meanwhile, the right solution – be it a bespoke or an off-the-shelf one – and the vendor will provide significant assistance in your achievement of business goals. If you want experienced guidance, selecting a competent IT service provider that meets your company’s requirements will be significantly helpful.

Are you looking for a trustworthy AI development company?

As an IT Service Provider, GEM offers dynamic AI-drive solution development to enable greater revenue and boosted productivity across industries. Our AI service list expands across four branches: Computer vision, Character recognition, Natural language processing, and Predictive recommendation systems. We leverage the power of AI to tailor scalable and efficient solutions that address your unique pain points.

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