I was talking to my 78 year-old mom the other day and she was quite proud of herself for finding a recipe for an upside down meringue pie using Siri. Speech technology as a part of Digital transformation has now engulfed every aspect of our lives. From simple restaurant searches and movie times to driving directions. It’s not just the younger generation that’s embracing speech (and chatbots) but the older generation is gravitating towards the digital change as well. The market for smart speakers like Amazon Alexa and Google Home is staggering. According to Tech Crunch 47.3 million U.S. adults have access to a smart speaker.
We, as a society, are evolving. We’re writing less and speaking more. What makes speech/chat so enticing is that it’s effortless and enables us to multi-task. This may be why our attention span is shrinking. What was once unheard of is now commonplace. You can begin a phone call while driving by simply speaking to your car without having to hold a device.
The disruption isn’t just in our homes, it’s everywhere. Search for “Machine Learning” or “Artificial Intelligence” and you’ll see the use cases are endless. Last April, Merriam-Webster added more than 850 new words (March, 2018), like Cryptocurrency to their dictionary. Many are a result of the recent explosion of technologies like IoT. My prediction is that in the next 10 years, speech will dominate 90% of our daily lives - at work and at home.
Now if we jump on over to the business side, there are industries where adoption isn’t moving quite as fast. Recently I was at the dentist for a routine checkup and they had a new software program that allows them to note the details for each tooth. A great tool to predict problems down the road. Intuitive, yes? Trouble was, that each field in every form needed to be manually typed in. That took time and left room for human error. Now if we put a head set on the dental assistant to enable speech to text… they would have a much more efficient means to collect the data.
Big Data is another powerful technology that we are seeing adoption taking place. Not only are we collecting terabytes of data every second, but we are analyzing it many different ways. Talk about empowering! This is where things get good. Add in Business Intelligence and mix it with some really cool visualization and you’ve got yourself a dashboard full of powerful insights, trends and analysis.
We are seeing enterprise mobility utilized not only for customer facing experiences but for internal facing applications that enhance the employee user experience for a happier, more motivated and efficient team.
Here’s the speed bump, business adoption of these principles is painfully slow. I’m not just picking on small business either, this is across industries and organizational size. In a colleague’s recent post “Digital Transformation, Strategies and Platforms” he points out that “Organizations are moving slowly towards ‘Digital Maturity’ to bring strategic business benefits as well as compete in the marketplace.”
I get it, change is hard. I was talking to the CIO of a travel and tourism company recently and what I heard was an excuse like “That’s not our target audience. This is the way we’ve been doing things and we aren’t changing.” I was surprised at how little they knew and understood about the capabilities of these powerful technologies. We have a responsibility as business leaders to shape markets and educate ourselves on how technology can help our organizations be more customer focused and competitive.
One perspective here that often gets lost is the technology is just a tool; we as people are the ones driving toward digital transformation because we can see the value it provides. Now is the time to think outside of the box and broaden your possibilities through digital. Technology (and your competition) isn’t slowing down for anyone.
You will need to acquire expertise in these technologies, or partner with a digital transformation services provider like Emtec to accelerate digital transformation adoption. Look for a partner who has experience ranging from implementing complete digital transformation solutions utilizing cloud, mobility and big data to providing comprehensive platform development and testing services through various technologies, - someone like us (insert my shameless plug here). Our team has always been on the forefront of innovation and will continue to do so. We truly love working with these technologies and seeing how they change the game for our clients.
Now that I’ve made my point, I’ll get back to the important things on my list. “Hey Siri, call mom.”