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Like any organization trying to find our place in the blooming Artificial Intelligence landscape, Shift’s approach has been evolving and changing with each new headline. Whether we see a viral video or read an ethics white paper, we’re eager to explore each new trend and find out for ourselves where the actual business value may lie for our clients and our company.

We’ve started to engage our internal dev teams to explore this trending tech — starting with an AI task force team writing small code experiments to get first-hand experience with Large Language Models, prompt engineering, and other core concepts. We are slowly expanding our horizons into this exciting space.

Some cool links have been floating around the shop, including think pieces from the New York Times, aggregation sites like Hugging Face or promising tools, like Google’s Vertex AI. Some of our developers have started trying out things like Github CoPilot or AI-driven plugins within tools like VSCode or Jetbrains Rider to look for ways we can enhance our current workflows. We’re also participating in local meetups and enthusiast events like the DSM AI meetup.

Like many, we’ve begun to engage AI chat bots and other services to test their limits and understand their reliability. We are being intentional and gathering ideas to ensure data is protected and safe. Shift is actively looking for clients who want to experiment or explore ideas using new technologies and tools. We’re ready to build on our past AI/Machine Learning successes using tools like Tensorflow, Python, and Google’s MediaPipe.


At Shift, we’re exploring some specific use cases on our task force - reach out to us to discuss any specifics or brainstorm ideas for your organization.

Automation note taking through AI generative text.

Our task force asked friends and family about what process they’re doing that are repetitive and seemingly take quite a bit of time that could be spent elsewhere. From those conversations we’ve been able to put together test cases and proof of concepts. Maybe one will turn into a product, who knows! But at the least they serve as a way to test out what technology is out there.

Rewriting old apps to free clients of tech debt

Some AI tools are aimed at modernizing old code. Eone loves to write a new product, but few developers are excited about revamping old code in dead languages like VB. This is a real world problem with major dollars attached — just ask your IT lead about tech debt and watch for their eyes to glaze over or wait for a physical shudder. It’s exciting to think how some of these AI tools can enhance security, improve portability, or add interoperability for older but mission-critical applications. While it’s important work, tech debt can be difficult to justify and prioritize, so these new tools are exciting for both accountants and devs who might prefer to build new products rather than invest time and money in older platforms.


How is your team thinking about AI? If it’s too soon to invest in an internal headcount or major initiatives in this space, what sort of collaborations, experiments, or proposals can you imagine partnering on with small software consultancies like Shift?

Here’s what Google Bard is thinking we could work on together…

Here are some ways a small software consultancy can leverage AI for their business clients:

  • Automate repetitive tasks. AI can be used to automate many of the repetitive tasks that are common in software development, such as code linting, unit testing, and documentation generation. This can free up your team's time so they can focus on more strategic and creative work.
  • Improve decision-making. AI can be used to analyze large amounts of data to identify patterns and trends that would be difficult for humans to spot. This information can then be used to make better decisions about ething from product development to marketing campaigns.
  • Personalize customer experiences. AI can be used to collect and analyze data about customer behavior to create personalized experiences. This could involve recommending products, providing customer support, or even generating content that is tailored to each individual customer's interests.
  • Improve security. AI can be used to identify and prevent security threats. This could involve monitoring network traffic for suspicious activity, detecting malware, or even generating security reports.
  • Create new products and services. AI can be used to develop new products and services that would not be possible without it. For example, AI-powered chatbots can provide customer support 24/7, and AI-powered image recognition software can be used to automate tasks such as product tagging and inventory management.

These are just a few of the ways that a small software consultancy can leverage AI for their business clients. By incorporating AI into their services, these consultancies can offer their clients a competitive edge and help them to achieve their business goals.

Here are some additional tips for small software consultancies that want to leverage AI:

  • Start small. Don't try to do too much too soon. Start by identifying a few specific areas where AI can add value for your clients, and then focus on developing those capabilities.
  • Partner with experts. If you don't have in-house expertise in AI, partner with a company that does. This will allow you to tap into their knowledge and experience without having to invest in building your own AI capabilities.
  • Stay up-to-date. The field of AI is constantly evolving, so it's important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. This will help you to ensure that you're offering your clients the latest and greatest AI-powered solutions.

We’d love to hear about how you’re utilizing AI today. Where are you on your AI journey? At Shift we clearly have a passion for it and love to participate in any brainstorm session with clients or potential partners - so let’s chat!

This article was written by Cliff Thompson, Delivery Lead