Why Using AI Is Not The (Sole) Answer To Digital Transformation

Why Using AI Is Not The (Sole) Answer To Digital Transformation
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In this opinion piece, Andy Pattinson (pictured below), managing director of Seismic for Australia and New Zealand, explains that achieving digital transformation requires more than simply using the latest AI technology.

Andy Pattinson

The workforce as we know it is undergoing a rapid shift as a wave of digital transformation and automation sweeps enterprise. New research by McKinsey suggests that at least 30 per cent of tasks within 60 per cent of jobs now have the potential to be automated. The key to powering efficiencies and productivity through automation, which will in turn boost ROI, is artificial intelligence (AI). AI is predicted to add up to $2.2 trillion in value to Australia’s economy by 2030.

While digital transformation within the workplace is being driven by the rise of technologies such as AI, the development of an innovation mindset and the cultivation of a collaboration culture are a necessity to ensure true organisational change. However, none of these changes can be realised without the use of collaboration-focused technology that can help teams embrace change.

Using AI as a collaborative tool

As customers increasingly demand more personalised, instantaneous experiences with brands, human-led interactions remain critical to customer engagement and delivering authentic experiences. Even when engaging with technology, consumers now expect the interactions to be human-like. This is becoming even more important to consumers as human-voice led technologies such as Siri or Alexa become mainstream. For instance, recent research suggests that more than half of consumers expect websites in the future to exhibit emotions when you visit and communicate with them. Meanwhile, over 60 per cent of consumers expect websites in the future to predict what you want.

However, to provide such customised and consistent services across multiple platforms in an authentic voice, organisations require significant staff time investment to be able to analyse vast amounts of data in order to generate real-time, personalised responses. As a result, organisations are increasingly realising the benefits of investing in human-led, AI technologies as a way to create scale and free up staff from time-intensive tasks so they can focus on providing customer value in other ways. In other words, AI has the potential to help employees avoid the more tedious tasks so they can fill a more value-based role.

Rather than spending hours every week manually entering data, AI can do all the knowledge work and ‘heavy lifting’ so that sales teams can focus on relationship-building and customer experience. At the same time, through AI, workers can immediately know customers’ needs and wants across multiple touch points without having a personal connection or intimate knowledge or the customer.

However, achieving digital transformation requires more than simply the use of the latest AI technologies. A collaborative approach to innovation is critical to achieving digital change that can empower employees and enable them to provide a better customer experience.

Collaborating for change

In today’s digital workforce, constant change is a must in order to drive innovation. Change management is vital to achieving digital transformation. Moreover, as technologies such as AI increasingly infiltrate the workplace, a new set of organisational skills will be required in order to create a more agile and innovative workforce that can work in a symbiotic relationship with technology.

However, cultivating an attitude of innovation can be difficult as some employees struggle to adapt to such rapid change. With the adoption of new technology comes the need for a cultural shift that can help employees adapt to new ways of doing business and develop new skills. During this period of change, collaboration and education is key. Training is also required to make sure workers have the capabilities to seamlessly enter into new value-adding roles. In the face of rapid automation, this will ensure workers fears for their future job security are dispelled.

Fostering a collaborative culture means taking advantage of each other’s key strengths to drive productivity and innovation. However, many issues arise if the organisation hasn’t made a strong business case for using the new technology or helped educate employees on how it can be successfully integrated.

As organisations look to become more productive in the face of vast digital transformation, it will be important for c-level executives to demonstrate to employees how they can better collaborate with technologies such as AI to improve both efficiency and customer engagement. Moreover, as more and more mundane processes become automated, there are a multitude of opportunities for employees to be up-skilled across other areas. Ultimately those organisations that achieve competitive advantage within the market will be the ones that can learn how to seamlessly integrate the use of technology that forms a symbiotic relationship with the human worker.

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