Reality Check: How analytics, cognitive & automation will propel the mobile enterprise in 2018
The physical workplace as we know it has changed. Mobility and on-demand access to data and services have dissolved the four walls of the enterprise. Connected endpoints, location technology, and leading-edge visualization technology have blurred the lines between the virtual and the physical. The potential for cognitive and analytics capabilities to augment the amount of insight, knowledge, and automation of repetitive tasks will continue to transform the way we work, but IT models have not always kept up.
The traditional corporate one-size-fits-all model worked well in a world of desktop computers where everything was hooked together, and people worked at their desk, but we now have a spectrum of devices, and we’re getting much more focused on the ways that people choose to engage and do their work. We see the new model of computing as being very experience-centric. The way we all interact is becoming more automated, more electronic and more mobile. In fact, mobility is already redefining operating and engagement models for organizations and consumers, and it can help shift the design of enterprise systems to focus on the experience of the user.
The CIO’s role has, therefore, become more important than ever. The CIO must seek cognitive, automation, and analytic Xaas-based solutions to achieve a consumer experience within the enterprise and deliver better outcomes. To reach this level, there are four capabilities that must be present:
- First, IT needs to empower employees to work agile, and allow them the opportunity to effectively get their job done from anywhere, anytime on any device.
- Next is social collaboration. A critical component of working agile is having the right tools to communicate and share ideas regardless of where employees are in the world.
- And, user-centric apps, providing access to the apps the employee needs – A workspace based on knowledge of what the user needs to be productive.
- Finally, all of these capabilities need to be delivered innovatively. New technology and processes must be evaluated and deployed in an ongoing fashion to provide a better work experience.
With a strategy in place, enterprises can now introduce a platform based on analytics, cognitive technology, and automation that will allow them to optimize and personalize employee services.
Analytics – We can analyze all the data within the enterprise to drive better outcomes. We have more data than ever about the employee and the end consumers. We have vast amounts of voice, video, structured and unstructured data throughout the enterprise. However, most enterprises have no way to find the gems in all that information. For example, we now have thousands of support tickets and chat logs that we can apply analytics towards to deliver valuable insights and predictive analytics, to anticipate trending issues (e.g., network outages, security exposures, application access issues) before they become pervasive, and identify opportunities to improve the experience. This can also save time and money.
Cognitive – We can interact with employees using cognitive natural language capabilities to answer questions from employees. Many employees may no longer want to call a 1-800 number and speak to an agent. While this will always be an option, some employees would rather use self-help, or interact with a cognitive, virtual agent. For example, if you want to reset your password, or install Office 365, you can do that with Watson vs. calling an agent. This also saves time and money, and delivers a more personalized employee experience.
Automation – We can automate the workplace and support tools better than ever before. For example, we can more easily provide and download applications through an enterprise app store, automate the procurement of a device, and apply technologies such as Dynamic Automation with Management Tools to improve the backend support processes. This also saves time, money, and delivers a better, experience-centric workplace.
CIOs must seek partners who can deliver the combination of analytics, cognitive, and automation delivered in an as a service model to capture optimal value, deliver a superior employee experience. By combining the power of analytics, cognitive, and automation with the ubiquity of mobile, organizations can serve up rich data on location, within the proper context, based on user preferences and behaviors. What’s more, mobility solutions will increasingly serve as a cognitive extension, empowering employees and organizations to acquire new skills quickly, work more and better together, and make better decisions.
Success in the growing mobile, digital world requires a deliberate business and IT strategy that allows organizations to provide cognitive capabilities that set their digital experience apart every time in the context of the moment. When businesses design around this evolution, instead of simply accommodating it, whole industries can shift.
About the author
Richard Esposito is the General Manager of Digital Workplace Services for IBM. In his current position, he leads IBM Global Technology Services (GTS) Digital Workplace Services to help clients drive performance improvements and capture value through mobile enterprise solutions. He has worldwide responsibility for client satisfaction, financial growth, strategy, sales, delivery, mobile innovation labs, offering development, and operations.