With the proliferation of all kinds of bots the last few years, “digital labor” is a term you’re going to be hearing more and more about going forward.
Lee Coulter, who chairs the IEEE Working Group on Standards in Intelligent Process Automation says that “digital labor” is really just another term for “intelligent automation”. However, digital labor represents a paradigm shift that’s disruptive to the status quo. From what we’ve seen so far, you can expect that it will change how we work. It will change the kinds of work we do, and it will also create enormous new opportunities for cost cutting, as well as career opportunities for those who will be working with and managing digital labor.
A few years ago, an analyst at HfS Research coined the phrase “Welcome to Robotistan”, which referred to a corporate world where humans intermingled with virtual FTE’s, primarily in the form of bots that could take on the boring, repetitive tasks so many humans despise doing. With the proliferation of automation the last few years, that vision has turned into a reality, perhaps quicker than many thought it would.
Now with the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re seeing interest really skyrocket from organizations wanting to deploy chatbots to relieve humans of robotic-type tasks, and free them up for more important things, like for example, reshaping the digital workplace to accommodate all the people now working from home.
The worldwide chatbot market continues to experience extraordinary growth. According to Business Insider, in 2019 the market was worth a bit more than $2 ½ Billion, but they’re forecasting that by 2024 it will approach $10 Billion! That’s a compound annual growth rate of over 29% a year, which by any measure is very impressive.
Last year Salesforce.com released a major report entitled the “State of Service”. In this study they found that nearly a quarter of their respondents (23%) currently use AI chatbots and nearly another third (31%) said they plan to use them within 18 months.
That represents a projected growth rate of 136% in the use of AI chatbots from Spring of 2019 to early Autumn of 2020. Another clear indication of serious growth!
As we’ve often said at Ayehu, the biggest factor driving enterprise adoption of AI chatbots is probably service desk Cost Per Ticket.
The generally-accepted industry figure for the average cost of an L1 service desk ticket is $20. Enterprises deploying AI chatbots to enable self-help or self-service capabilities for their end users are finding that they can drive down the cost of those L1 tickets to just $4. Tell a CIO, CTO, or any senior IT Executive that there’s a way to reduce their single biggest expenditure on IT Support by 80%, and they’re likely going to be very interested in hearing more.
However, AI chatbots with automation that shift ticket requests to end-users for self-service can do much more for the Service Desk than just lower ticket volume and costs.
When AI chatbots are deployed as digital labor, service desks can also:
- Slash MTTR by accelerating resolutions of incidents and requests
- Liberate IT staff from doing tedious work and free them up for more important tasks
- Raise customer satisfaction ratings, an increasingly critical KPI for IT Operations
Last year, Ayehu conducted an inquiry with a Gartner VP focused on the AI chatbot market, and he shared with us what they believe the biggest value propositions of digital labor are, based on an organization’s AI chatbot maturity level.
If your organization is interested in the technology but hasn’t deployed anything yet, in other words you’re in pre-production or your plans are still on the drawing board, then your biggest value proposition from digital labor is going to be cost reduction and deflection rates.
If your organization already has AI chatbot solutions in place, then your #1 benefit from adding automation and turning that AI chatbot into true digital labor will be increased customer satisfaction.
Regardless of whether you’re in pre-production and have yet to deploy digital labor, or have rolled out chatbots and are looking to add automation, here are some questions you should ask yourself and have answers to in order to guide your enterprise to the best possible outcomes.
What would AI chatbots mean inside of my enterprise?
How would they change business processes? How would they impact our cost structure? How would they increase our capacity?
How do I want our people to be able to work with digital labor?
This is another important question to ask in order to clearly demarcate where digital labor ends, and escalation to humans begins.
How do I want our people and digital labor to engage with customers?
This is actually important to answer whether the customers are internal or external.
There are a lot of important questions to ask your digital labor vendor as well before deploying, but here are 3 that really stand out.
What kind of scalability would an AI chatbot be capable of inside of my enterprise?
How many users can it handle? How many inquiries can it handle simultaneously? This is very important to know beforehand.
How easy is it to use?
How hard is it going to be to configure the AI chatbot for my enterprise? Do I need expensive highly-skilled programmers, or will one of my junior-level sys admins be enough?
Finally, how many other systems can I integrate my digital labor with?
The number of platforms your digital labor can connect to will dictate how much of your workload it can automate for you.
If you’re interested in test driving Ayehu NG as the automation platform that powers your digital labor efforts, download your very own free 30-day trial version today from the link below: