Most CIOs, IT departments, or even the general public don’t realize the impact an ultra-intelligent agent will have; much less how it will transform companies the world over.
Think about it. If you have an UIEA that can give you exactly the information you want, do you need to take the time to personally go to a website to get it? Did you do a traditional search? Did you issue the request for information, analyze the information, or even physically place the order for a product or service?
The answer to all of these questions is “no.” The agent did the search, gathered the information, issued the request, and in some cases even analyzed the results and placed the order.
For a CIO, this is something powerful and disruptive, and it’s not an “if” or a “maybe.” We can see already with Siri and some of the Siri competitors emerging how this technology is taking hold. And because of bandwidth, storage, and processing power growing exponentially, we’ll see more advanced versions of the UIEA coming onboard very quickly.
When you know what’s going to happen before it happens, you have the upper hand. Therefore, as a CIO you have to start looking at how you can both control and use this technology in the enterprise rather than waiting for your competitors to use it, which puts you in the position of having to play catch-up.
And just like the BYOD phenomenon that seemingly (unless you were looking, of course) came out of nowhere and caught many CIOs off guard. UIEAs will probably need to be supported by IT in much the same fashion and, potentially, on the same time scales.
Remember, when the iPad first came out, the press and business community didn’t pay much attention to it. The consensus was, “Wow, it’s just an iPod Touch, but bigger.” It was viewed as a novelty. At the time, I asserted that they were wrong, that the iPad would be a big game changer for business. Now we can see that what I predicted occurred. The iPad has become transformational for business.
People are now making the same mistake with Siri. They’re viewing it as a fun toy. I’m here to say that it’s way more than that. In fact, it’s an even bigger transformation for business than the iPad was.
In addition to helping your customers, your company’s UIEA will be able to help your employees work smarter. Chances are you have many employees who don’t always have access to a computer screen but still need information. This could pertain to employees who are on the road, such as salespeople, as well as those in the field, such as repair and maintenance people or engineers. These people can pull out their smart phone or tablet and ask their intelligent agent for detailed information.
For example, suppose you have a maintenance person fixing an air conditioner. He can pull out his smart phone and ask his agent, “Do I have this part in my truck?” And the agent can reply, “No, you don’t have that part in your truck.” He can then ask, “Well, do we have it back at the shop?” As he asks and gets his answers, he’s still working and doing maintenance, essentially multiplying his time.
Instead of having to go their laptop back in the truck or type in search terms on their smart phone, employees simply ask a question and have access to all of the information they need, including diagrams and videos for just-in-time training. These UIEAs are the way to help employees do more with less.
As the CIO, you need to determine how your company can use its UIEA in the various functions. Just like mobility is driving a transformation of almost every business process -- including purchasing, logistics, supply chain, etc. -- we can do the same with an UIEA.
In Part II of this article, Dan will explain how to use UIEAs for competitive advantage and how they may change everyday life.
Daniel Burrus is considered one of the world’s leading technology forecasters and business strategists, and is the founder and CEO of Burrus Research, a research and consulting firm that monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients better understand how technological, social and business forces are converging to create enormous, untapped opportunities. He is the author of six books, including the national bestseller "Flash Foresight: How To See the Invisible and Do the Impossible" as well as the highly acclaimed Technotrends. Be sure to check out Volume 2 of Daniel's "Know What's Next Magazine," an annual publication on strategies for transforming your business and future.
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