Ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, an­a­lyt­ics ac­cel­er­ate pace of dig­i­tal work­place transformation

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY - DUBAI:

New re­search which ex­am­ined how or­ga­ni­za­tions are evolv­ing from a tra­di­tional of­fice en­vi­ron­ment to a dig­i­tal work place re­veals that gain­ing com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage and im­prov­ing busi­ness process are among the top goals of their dig­i­tal transformation strat­egy. This is ac­cord­ing to 40 per­fect of 800 or­ga­ni­za­tions in 15 coun­tries on five con­ti­nents that were in­ter­viewed for Di­men­sion Data’s Dig­i­tal Work­place Re­port: Trans­form­ing Your Busi­ness which was pub­lished re­cently. An­other in­sight in the Re­port is that dig­i­tal transformation is not just about adopt­ing the tech­nolo­gies of the past: 62 per­cent of re­search par­tic­i­pants ex­pect to have tech­nol­ogy such as vir­tual ad­vi­sors in their or­ga­ni­za­tions within the next two years.

In ad­di­tion, 58 per­cent ex­pect to start ac­tively in­vest­ing in tech­nol­ogy that pow­ers vir­tual ad­vi­sors in the next two years. “In a new Dig­i­tal Transformation in the Work­place re­port pub­lished by Di­men­sion Data last month, the re­search re­vealed that coun­tries in the GCC and the Mid­dle East are rapidly di­vest­ing from oil driven economies into dig­i­tal, smart, mo­bile, and data en­abled ser­vices driven economies. Mi­grat­ing their work­forces into trans­for­ma­tive work en­vi­ron­ments is crit­i­cal to en­sure suc­cess in this jour­ney,” says Mechelle Buys Du Plessis, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Di­men­sion Data, Mid­dle East.

Today, the dig­i­tal work­place is no longer just made up of man­agers and those man­aged; co-work­ers col­lab­o­rat­ing with one an­other to com­plete projects; and em­ploy­ees in­ter­act­ing with cus­tomers and part­ners. It’s in­creas­ingly pop­u­lated by ‘vir­tual em­ploy­ees’ who do not ex­ist in a phys­i­cal sense, but nonethe­less play an im­por­tant role in the or­ga­ni­za­tion. While ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) tech­nol­ogy is still in its in­fancy, it is suf­fi­ciently ad­vanced to be work­ing its way into com­pa­nies in the form of vir­tual as­sis­tants, and, in cer­tain in­dus­tries such as bank­ing, vir­tual tell­ers and vir­tual ad­vi­sors. Man­i­fested as bots em­bed­ded into spe­cific ap­pli­ca­tions, vir­tual as­sis­tants draw on AI en­gines and ma­chine learn­ing tech­nol­ogy to re­spond to ba­sic queries.

“It’s no longer enough to sim­ply im­ple­ment these tech­nolo­gies,” says Krista Brown, Di­men­sion Data’s Group End-user Com­put­ing SVP. “Or­ga­ni­za­tions have grown their use of an­a­lyt­ics to un­der­stand how these tech­nolo­gies im­pact their busi­ness per­for­mance: 64% use an­a­lyt­ics to im­prove their cus­tomer ser­vices, and 58 per­cent use an­a­lyt­ics to bench­mark their work­place tech­nolo­gies.” Mean­while, around 30 per­cent of or­ga­ni­za­tions said they’re far along in their dig­i­tal transformation ini­tia­tives and are al­ready reap­ing the ben­e­fits, while oth­ers are still in the early stages of de­vel­op­ing a plan.

Brown says one rea­son that could be hold­ing com­pa­nies back from im­ple­ment­ing a dig­i­tal work­place is their cor­po­rate cul­ture. Of­ten, tech­nol­ogy and cor­po­rate cul­ture in­hibit - rather than en­cour­age - work style change. How­ever, the num­ber one bar­rier to suc­cess­ful adop­tion of new work styles was IT is­sues, and re­search par­tic­i­pants cited or­ga­ni­za­tional is­sues as an­other. “The com­plex­ity of the ex­ist­ing IT in­fra­struc­ture can present a ma­jor hurdle to im­ple­ment­ing new col­lab­o­ra­tion and pro­duc­tiv­ity tools to sup­port flex­i­ble work styles. Suc­cess­ful transformation im­ple­men­ta­tions are achieved when IT works closely with line-of-busi­ness heads,” says Brown and adds that these trans­for­ma­tions are sup­port­ing new ways of do­ing busi­ness or sup­port­ing clients.

IT lead­ers were asked to rank which tech­nolo­gies were most im­por­tant to their dig­i­tal work­place strate­gies. Robert All­man, Group Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent, Cus­tomer Ex­pe­ri­ence and Col­lab­o­ra­tion believe that mo­bil­ity is piv­otal to a dig­i­tal work­place. “Busi­ness lead­ers and CIOs are switched on to the im­por­tance of mo­bil­ity in the dig­i­tal work­place, with an even mix of com­pa­nies sup­port­ing com­pany-pro­vided and em­ployee-owned de­vices in the work en­vi­ron­ment.” En­ter­prises are also turn­ing to new work­place tech­nolo­gies to drive in­creased cus­tomer ser­vice, with 45 per­cent of re­spon­dents say­ing they’ve im­proved cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion as a re­sult of their use of dig­i­tal work­place tech­nol­ogy.

Mechelle Buys Du Plessis

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