Having a personal assistant has generally only been a privilege enjoyed by those at the top of their business game. Without enough time to manage their crazy schedules or order their own lunches, these busy execs hire personal assistant’s to do all of the basic tasks they simply don’t get the chance to do.
But in 2018, we all have access to a similar level of support thanks to a range of handy digital devices and the Internet. Think Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Amazon Echo. Created using software that is able to learn our preferences when it comes to different tasks and scenarios, these virtual helpers take the fuss out of looking something up on Google or playing your favourite track.
Within the enterprise, the use cases are endless. A recent Nemertes Research study, saw enterprises citing virtual assistants as one of the most vital technologies for digital transformation success. Making the most of virtual assistants within the enterprise is all about strategically using technology in areas that need a little help to become more productive.
Virtual assistant apps offer value to modern businesses by improving the efficiency of communications and upping collaboration, which allows workers to get more done. And these solutions are already having an impact. Back in 2016, ComputerWorld reported that Duncan Regional Hospital in Oklahoma was able to improve efficiency in patient care by installing speech recognition software onto the laptops of about 15 physicians to speed up the clinical documentation process.
Similarly, a few years ago Australian bank ANZ made IBM Watson Engagement Advisor’s cognitive computing functionality available to over 400 financial planners. When a customer asks a financial planner a questions about a specific company or investment, advisers relay the question to Watson by speaking or typing and the system searches through vast amounts of information to produce an informed answer.
But what are the downsides?
According to Tech Target, the main issue is related to security. Many firms worry, with good reason, about their privacy given the fact that they’ve opened up their meeting rooms and offices to these passive listening devices. Can you imagine what corporate secrets and “behind closed doors”conversations could be leaked should one of these virtual assistants get hacked?
But it is important to remember that these devices only transmit information once a key word or phrase like “Hey Siri” or “Ok Google” is said. Another worry is access permission. One wouldn’t want any queries involving sensitive information to be freely accessible to anyone and everyone. Keeping any confidential commands secure requires that you add access controls to enterprise virtual assitants.
Any business looking to prepare for the rise of these digital assistants must consider how their needs will change once virtual assistant technologies really start to gain popularity. They should also be brainstorming about what they can do to adapt. To keep updated on this trend, and others that may be affecting your industry, visit our blog. Or you can sign up for our monthly newsletter below and have these insights delivered straight to you.