Key considerations as your business invests in AI

By Dewey Briglia, Senior Vice President, Technology Banking Group, Wells Fargo

As artificial intelligence (AI) grabs headlines, more businesses are scrambling to capitalize on its potential. But, both “build” and “buy” models for AI can be capital-intensive. Identifying the right strategy—and the right resources—to guide your organization’s journey are key to success.

Companies of all sizes, industries innovating with AI

Nearly 75 percent of U.S. companies have already integrated AI technology into some part of their business. However, it’s not just heavyweight tech companies and Silicon Valley startups leading the charge; businesses of all sizes, in all sectors, are seizing the moment. Analysts anticipate the market for AI technologies will grow from around $200 billion today to more than $1.8 trillion by 2030.

Generative AI capabilities like Gemini and ChatGPT are accelerating adoption. Their ability to interact, learn, reason, and create new content vastly expands the use cases for businesses. It also makes AI more accessible to those without programming skills.

Three key areas for AI innovation include:

  • Augmenting existing solutions. Wrapping AI into next-generation products and services can create a competitive advantage. Examples include customer service chatbots, smart home devices, and automated shopping.
  • Optimizing workflows. If there’s data collection, labor-intensive work, or routine transactions, there’s a prime opportunity to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve service levels with the help of AI. Translation, shipping, security, court reporting, and call centers are just a few of the areas where AI is making inroads.
  • Disrupting traditional industries. Some visionaries are completely reimagining the way we live, work, and play by injecting AI into everything from autonomous flights to machines that can “read” medical images to dabbling in music and fine arts. 

AI development can be cost- and labor-intensive

No matter how your organization is looking at AI, these projects share one common factor: the need for ongoing investment. Both building from scratch and deploying “off the shelf” AI capabilities can be cost- and labor-intensive.

Getting an AI initiative off the ground can require a significant upfront investment in computer hardware that’s powerful enough to run AI, as well as licensing fees to secure the appropriate data sets for training.

It also takes time and human effort to finetune an AI data model. It can be months or even years before the technology starts to turn a profit or can be deployed at scale.

Beyond the need for ongoing funding, AI adopters must navigate a dynamic regulatory environment and manage public perception. Lawmakers in the U.S. and abroad are still figuring out how to balance oversight without stifling innovation. Consumers are excited about the possibilities, yet also wary of AI’s impact on jobs, privacy, and the economy.

Team up with a technology banking leader

The benefits for most companies far outweigh these challenges—especially when you can team up with the right resources.

As your organization plans its AI roadmap, consider these important factors when choosing your financial institution:

Industry expertise. Wells Fargo brings more than two decades partnering with B2B software companies, Silicon Valley leaders and tech-driven firms around the country at all stages of the technology lifecycle. Our deep knowledge spans specialized verticals including human capital management, healthcare IT, document management and workflow, financial services, and application development.

Dedicated team. Our bankers bring extensive experience in the software and technology space. By understanding the lifecycle needs of technology companies, we can provide tailored capital solutions with superior execution and customer service.

Variety of capital solutions. Our commitment to the industry shows, with lending capabilities across multiple channels and ranging from traditional cash flow lending to recurring revenue-based facilities.

Completed over 500 financings for private and public software and technology companies, deploying approximately $10 billion in new loan commitments.

Wells Fargo offers flexible, senior-secured financing solutions designed for the unique needs of companies operating within the software and technology industries. We can even provide treasury management solutions for an all-in-one banking approach.

Strong resource network. Our reach extends across Silicon Valley, venture capital investors, and the technology ecosystem. We help our customers succeed through our own knowledge as well as connections to other helpful resources.

Seize AI opportunities with confidence

AI technology remains in its infancy, but it’s easy to see how its impact will be far-reaching and transformative within just a few years.

As your business considers where and how to reinvent operations, seize new opportunities, and achieve your AI goals, be sure to reach out to the experts in your space. Plotting the right course and securing the right funding will streamline your AI journey and help you generate lasting results.