Build Your Enterprise AI Backbone through Independent Expertise

By MBO Partners | April 17, 2024

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Key Points

Companies across industries are reengineering processes to incorporate AI.

This reengineering demands the creation of an AI backbone that enables the enterprise-wide creation and integration of AI tools.

Many hiring managers find that the independent talent pool provides much of the technology expertise needed to create a company’s AI backbone.

AI is steadily permeating all aspects of enterprise operations. Workers are already using the technology, mainly in the form of generative AI, to increase productivity and improve output. More comprehensively, companies across industries are reengineering processes to incorporate AI. For example:

  • Banks are transforming financial advisory services
  • Insurance companies are automating auto and home claims estimates
  • Plant maintenance is being reshaped through AI in industrial enterprises
  • In some countries, AI-based telemedicine assists diagnosis and treatment

Such transformations demand the creation of an AI backbone that enables the enterprise-wide creation and integration of AI tools.

What Is an AI Backbone?

“AI backbone” refers to the core infrastructure and systems that let a company integrate AI capabilities into its operations. This includes the technologies, processes, and people required to develop, deploy, and maintain AI models and applications that drive business value, including:

  • High-performance computing hardware to power AI algorithms and applications
  • Open-source or proprietary software tools that simplify the development and deployment of machine learning models like the large language models (LLMs) that form the foundation of generative AI
  • Custom-built software solutions that leverage AI capabilities to automate processes, improve decision-making, or enhance customer experiences
  • Workers with the necessary skills for designing, building, and maintaining AI systems

AI Backbone Skill Categories

The skill categories for an AI backbone build are focused on technology—much of it of recent vintage. Enterprises must have access to talent with mastery of one or more of these:

  • Data Science – analyzing large data sets and extracting meaningful insights for training AI models and improving their performance
  • Machine Learning – solid understanding of machine learning algorithms, techniques, and frameworks for building, implementing, and optimizing AI models (including LLMs)
  • Software Development – for integrating AI systems with the existing software infrastructure
  • Cloud Computing – familiarity with the cloud platforms commonly used for building and deploying AI systems.

Independents Offer Skills to Build Your AI Backbone

Enterprises are seeking skills today that either didn’t exist or that were in limited demand just a year ago. Many hiring managers can’t attain the right level of mastery through employee hires and find that the independent talent pool provides much of the technology expertise needed to create a company’s AI backbone.

Top-tier independent professionals with relevant AI skills are not just in demand; they are a valuable asset for enterprises. Including these workers relieves pressure on in-house teams and enables the company to respond flexibly to ongoing industry shifts. Managers can engage these independents fractionally, focusing their expertise when needed. For longer-term roles, engaging qualified independents on AI backbone teams eliminates the time delays and expenses associated with recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and training employees with needed skills.

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