AI in enterprise: a guide for setting up hybrid teams
Why not consider AI as a tool that allows employees to devote themselves to more motivating tasks and to give more value to their work?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is sometimes considered a “job killer”; why not consider it more as a tool that allows employees to devote themselves to more motivating tasks and to give more value to their work? Several companies have already adopted this approach and have formed hybrid teams, associating human and virtual colleagues. These initiatives show us the way by establishing basic principles to win the support of employees and customers alike.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to fundamentally transform the way we work; according to IDC, global spending on AI systems – automation solutions, cognitive AI, virtual agents – could reach more than $77 billion in 2022: three times more than in 2018. Of course, millions of jobs are likely to be lost worldwide over the next decade, according to a recent report by the McKinsey Global Institute. But these are jobs involving repetitive tasks and low value-added. As the institute points out, millions more will be created that will allow humans freed from these uninteresting tasks to devote themselves to more motivating missions that make use of their cognitive abilities.
Several large groups are currently using automation and cognitive AI to manage large-scale tasks, such as the processing of banking transactions: credit card disputes, payment processes or problems with accounts. These initiatives allow us to identify several principles to be followed when implementing hybrid teams, combining human and virtual agents.
Define the best use case
It is essential to choose the service(s) that will be the subject of a hybrid team. Companies can, for example, automate IT support, take advantage of cognitive AI to create an interactive customer experience, or offer new on-demand services to their employees.
Involve employees from the very beginning of the project
The implementation of hybrid teams requires allies internally, not just at the management level. Indeed, projects are more likely to succeed if they have the support of employees whose missions will be affected by AI and automation. Once a use case is developed and funded, and deployment enters the pilot phase, it is necessary to identify ambassadors who will champion the project with their colleagues. Take the example of a company wishing to automate the management of computer tickets: password resets, managed automatically by digital colleagues, would allow human collaborators to focus on value-generating activities or metrics analysis. More importantly, they would realize that working in a hybrid team does not diminish their responsibilities, but rather increases them.
Demonstrate internal transparency
Employees need to be clear about how AI will be used, when and in what form the return on investment will be realized and, equally important, what changes will be made to their roles and responsibilities. For example, if a company decides to use intelligent virtual agents as first points of contact in its call center, human agents will need to learn how best to interact with their digital colleagues. They will also need to be trained on how to manage call transfers made by their digital colleagues. In this type of scenario, digital agents free up time for their human colleagues, giving them the opportunity to learn new skills or perform new tasks to build customer loyalty.
Raising End-User Awareness
Clients must also be informed about the role of the AI in service delivery, including how confidentiality, security and compliance will be ensured. Many consumers are increasingly using intelligent virtual assistants. However, this does not necessarily mean that they are becoming more and more confident in them. So customers need to be made aware of the benefits they will derive from their interactions with a company when managed by a hybrid team.
In summary, it is high time for companies to think: will they set up hybrid teams and transform the work of their employees, or will they keep their old practices out of sheer fear of change?