Artificial Intelligence appears to be the antithesis of personalising IT. But as Simon Kent explains, the robots will be our friends rather than our foes after all.
I’ve championed the idea for a while now that the role of the technology professional is changing so dramatically that it will never be the same again. Every since organisations began deploying computer technologies, the IT role was predominantly scientific. But IT, especially in recent years, has struggled to keep up with business demands, and the lack of collaboration and effective communication between IT providers and those using it has been identified as the number one problem.
This is why businesses are now building a Strategic Business Relationship Manager capability to ‘connect the dots’ between key stakeholders and departments, and steer business strategy and technology investments. It’s why initiatives such as DevOps and Agile are trying to change the way we deploy and develop technology initiatives. And it is why BRM (Business Relationship Management) is increasingly recognised as the best approach to unlock the potential of technology for business purposes.
People, not tech
The message is simple: it’s the people, not the technology itself, that hold the key to achieving great things with technology.
At first glance, AI contradicts this ethos. While business technology desperately tries to make itself more human, AI, bots, and automation appear to drag it back in the direction of technology. Yet, if you delve slightly deeper, you find that AI may be the key to ensuring business technology reaches its goal of becoming more personable.
BRM (Business Relationship Management) is increasingly recognised as the best approach to unlock the potential of technology for business purposes.
AI will automate myriad support requests and deliver many business services, both to staff and customers, without requiring expensive person-to-person interactions. These transactions are tedious to deliver and offer very few opportunities for the service provider to add value. Resetting a password, changing an order date, demanding a refund, requesting holiday time etc. Thousands and thousands of these transactions which are taking place every day can be automated, saving countless labour hours and lifting humans beings out of this tedium that destroys the human spirit.
By removing these tedious tasks, AI and automation allow IT professionals to change their focus. They can become problem solvers, collaborating with suppliers and colleagues to improve service and tweaking the way technology is used. They can build relationships and broaden their understanding of what the business requires and source appropriate solutions. Human beings can be human again and tap into the human creative potential to improve our [business] situations (namely, outcomes; business/personal value; achievements; purpose)
Analyst Gartner supports the notion that AI will not only change the nature of the IT role, it will actually create MORE jobs in the long term. It postulates the idea that for the next two years, AI and automation will reduce the labour market by automated many job roles. However, in 2020, the equation will tip, and the opportunities offered by AI will mean that the technology will create new, more creative, more skilled positions. In fact, this movement is predicted to be more profound that AI will create more jobs than it eliminates.
If like me you want to see more communication, more cooperation, and more human input driving business technology, AI could prove to be the perfect tool to give us the time to do just that. If like me you want IT job roles to be a more human, personal, intelligent and respected by the business, AI may prove to be a very welcome ally.
Learn about BRM week, taking place w/c 11th February.
Read our Beginner’s Guide to BRM.