AI Will be a Game Changer for Digital Transformation in 2019
Over the past year, we’ve noticed a significant trend from CIOs thinking about ways to use AI, to realizing that AI will be essential in their 2019 digital transformation strategies. We have also seen a significant increase in the number of enterprises that are actively reaching out to us for near-term initiatives. After reading the new Gartner report titled, “2019 CIO Survey: CIOs Have Awoken to the Importance of AI,” I can see why.
According to the Gartner report:
- The percentage of enterprises deploying artificial intelligence (AI) has tripled in the past year.
- CIOs picked AI as the top game-changer technology.
- Enterprises use AI in a wide variety of applications.
- AI suffers from acute talent shortages”1
In 2018, CIOs repeatedly told us that they had begun to look at AI to improve the employee self-help experience in an attempt to reboot shift left initiatives. However, there were two main approaches to delivering an AI-based ITSM experience, and both fell short of expectations.
The first approach was based on toolkits and frameworks that enabled organizations to build chatbots, as well as third-party tools like Watson or Agent.ai. The issue with toolkits is that you need to hire an army of linguists, AI experts, and data scientists to use them. However, as stated above, AI suffers from acute talent shortages, so toolkits don’t make sense for most CIOs. The other approach was based on Google-like searchbots. While these searchbots enable a more efficient search of existing knowledge base articles, most organizations do not have a good knowledge foundation and so they will never gain widespread success.
In 2019, we predict that AI for employee self-help will advance from toolkits and searchbots to pre-built consumer-like apps that will help employees get the information they need so they can focus on their jobs. These apps will be built in a way that does not require enterprises to hire AI experts to implement and support them. This will be critical to meet the new demand as CIOs realize the importance of AI to their digital transformation initiatives.
1Gartner, “2019 CIO Survey: CIOs Have Awoken to the Importance of AI,” Chris Howard, Andy, Rowsell-Jones. January 3, 2019.