Smart assistants to move into the office: IDC

IDC is predicting a spike in adoption of smart assistants in the enterprise (Image metamorworks / iStockPhoto)

Over the next three years, more smart assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri and Cortana will move into the office. Researcher IDC has predicted that 22% of large organizations worldwide will have deployed these products in the workplace by 2021 resulting in more than $1 billion in cost savings.

The prediction was part of the IDC FutureScape: Connected devices worldwide 2019 report.

Organizations will increasingly use smart assistants, more commonly targeted at the consumer market, to collaborate with staff in the areas of calendaring, email and desk management, says IDC Asia Pacific’s vice president of client devices, Bryan Ma.

“With new technologies like these applications have yet to be developed or rather we will see some more creative ways with which developers and businesses will take advantage of it,” he said.

Sean Ashari, technology analyst at IDC Australia and New Zealand, adds that property developers are already asking that new offices with high speed networks be fitted with these types of advanced devices for meetings.

Smart assistants will be very useful to transcribe or translate meetings, he said.

“If halfway through the meeting you are having difficulty explaining an idea to a colleague who maybe doesn’t have the same language as you as their first language then you can have that smart speaker translate the conversation,” he said.

Meanwhile, IDC has also predicted that by 2022, less than 15% of companies across the Asia-Pacific region will have multiple device-as-a-service contracts in place. Many will move beyond PCs, tablets and smartphones to embrace wearables and augmented reality/virtual reality.

Ashari cited KPMG’s October 2018 pc-as-a-service tender with Lenovo, a three-year deal covering 7,800 notebooks worldwide as one of the larger recent contracts. These notebooks are purely for use by graduates and interns.

“It ends up being cheaper for KPMG because they don’t pay for the devices that they are not using,” he said.

Other predictions include:

- By 2020, 50% of new smartphones across the region will include facial recognition as the primary security measure thus enabling new business features around identity authentication.

- Dual screen notebooks will be available by 2020 but 95% of IT divisions in Asia-Pacific will shun the new form factor in favor of the more traditional ultra-slim and convertible models requested by employees.

- By 2023, 25% of G2000 companies and government bodies will use wearables to monitor employees exposed to hazardous conditions, resulting in fewer injuries and 25% savings in direct and indirect costs.

- By 2024, 15% of A1000 enterprises will be testing virtual reality as a way to drive cross-regional collaboration.

- By 2024, 40% of medium and large companies across the region will have deployed augmented reality hardware for a subset of their workers with increased efficiency being a key driver.

CIO Australia

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