Maurice Harary is the Co-Founder/CEO of The Bid Lab and is a thought leader on the topic of career progression and adaptability. They took some time out to speak with The Industry Leaders about this vital subject.
What's your career journey been like and how has that led you to be an authority on this topic?
As the founder and manager of a strictly remote company, my firm depends on the internet. That's by design; our niche services help small businesses win the opportunities they found on the internet. Consumers research online before they buy online. So having a strong online presence through digital marketing strategies such as search engine optimization (SEO) is a no-brainer. We write and promote our educational articles on our site; if people like what they read, they'll remember us, Our online presence depends on growing our online visibility and driving more traffic to our website. Hopefully, we'll attract a few potential customers along the way.
Are there specific jobs in your industry at higher risk of AI disruption?
Cyber threats are constantly evolving, so it is important that you frame your cybersecurity efforts as consistently improving. Thinking of yesterday’s problems won’t necessarily defend against future vulnerabilities in cybersecurity. Ensure you outline plans for improvement and any trends you are regularly addressing.
What skills do you think young professionals should learn to stay employable in a world with AI?
New technology has already revolutionized the way banking is conducted, and it continues to do so. Remote banking has already opened up remote work opportunities and is the basis of a global economy. Significantly, digital payments and mobile apps allow employers to recieve and make payments to employees and contractors in real-time. Mobile banking apps allows individuals to manage their accounts and check their balances from anywhere, which was almost unheard of just twenty years ago. Technology also makes these transactions that much more convenient and secure. Blockchain technology can help banks improve their security and reduce fraud, but with the recent collapse in digital currency market, we probably haven't seen this technology peak just yet.
How can AI help business owners and executives make better decisions?
One of the latest trends in mobile marketing is the use of personalization. Personalization involves tailoring marketing messages to individual customers based on individual preferences and interests. Personalization can be achieved through browsing history, purchase history, and demographic information data. By creating personalized mobile experiences that are engaging to their customers, businesses can build stronger loyalties, grow their relationships with their customers and drive long-term growth. Businesses can leverage data to create personalized mobile experiences that are relevant to each individual.
What ethical issues should businesses consider when using AI?
Educating the public about the risks of financial crime, including the use of bots, and providing regular training on best practices for cybersecurity and fraud prevention can create a strong human firewall. That said, there is a deeply-rooted, systemic problem with financial fraud. As an entrepreneur and founder of a remote company, I am worried about cyber security, and I'm cautious about my online practices-- but I can't control the security practices of the staff at my local bank. Machine learning and AI have come a long way, and they will continue to become more complex with each passing day. It will probably be inevitable that we use AI to fight cybercrime. Hackers and security experts alike will both teach AI how to search for vulnerabilities, so the biggest challenge to AI is another AI. People have created AI in our own image, but we're still our own worst enemy.
How will AI impact leadership and management?
Cybersecurity has seeped into everyone’s daily lives, from recaptcha blocking you from easily accessing your paid-for websites to passwords constantly needing updates. Spam calls and phishing attempts are so widespread that everyone has been threatened with a cybersecurity event whether they acknowledge it or not. You should always have a formal cybersecurity program and process in place. Being reactive to cybersecurity events is unfortunately a way some people learn about how important security really is.
What specific skills or roles do you think AI can't replace in your industry?
IT leaders need to demonstrate that they're just as willing to perform tasks as they are to delegate tasks. Lead by example, and lead in front-- not from a distance or from a place of apathy. Teams that don't see the direct link between their leader and success will not want to rally behind that leader. Respect and a shared sense of teamwork are what makes achievements feel like a personal success. A simple mistake calls for a simple solution: be there for the team. Regular communication and relevant guidance conveys respect as much as it does leadership. You'll have a team and not a group of disengaged individuals.
Finally, what does the future of work look like with automation and AI, and how can ambitious professionals thrive in this changing landscape?
For our business, digital marketing has been the most successful. Especially when we were first getting started, we were able to control every dollar and cent spent in a very measurable way. For us, it gave us the confidence to slowly spend more and more and grow our brand in the space. On average, we try a new marketing strategy once per quarter. We take time to plan, execute, test, and refine to see what is really working for us. The biggest ‘boxes’ are ROI and attracting the right types of clients. We want to communicate what we do effectively so we drive in the clients that can really benefit from our partnership. For us, social media ads just did not pan out when it came to marketing our consulting services. What we learned from this was that just because we weren’t converting from social media, that didn’t mean we weren’t gaining brand awareness. Now, we spend our time tailoring our social media posts and focus on engagement instead of conversions. Focus on your marketing strategy. And if you cannot pay attention to your marketing strategy, hire people who can. Marketing is all in the details. This isn’t something that can merely run on autopilot. Set aside specific time to focus and refine your marketing on a regular basis and ensure you have a team in place that shares your vision and can help you expand.