By now, all but the biggest technophobes will have acknowledged that the AI revolution is well underway. Our entire working lives are being transformed on this basis, and many are welcoming the benefits.
Expanding data volumes, the increasing speed of information and the demand to be ‘always-on’ is continuing to exert enormous pressure on employees tasked with managing this weight of expectation and workload. Meanwhile, business leaders search frantically for new ways to enable greater productivity while navigating a volatile economic climate.
Recent Microsoft research in 31 countries confirmed the effect that this digital debt is having on our performance at work. Nearly 2 in 3 people struggle to find the time and energy to do their job, while 60% of leaders feel concerned by the lack of innovative ideas coming from their teams, as a result.
AI can significantly ease these pain points. And so, it follows, that those organisations that best understand and leverage AI in their operations will be the ones who gain the greatest commercial advantage.
Three-quarters of those surveyed would feel comfortable using AI for their day-to-day, administrative tasks. Most (79%) also believed they would lean on AI to complete more complex, analytical tasks too. So, the perceived fear of AI replacing people or somehow marginalising employee value seems to be unfounded.
As such, the big question is: how can you ensure your employees gain the skills and knowledge they need to make AI work for them – and your business?
Reframe your working world – and reap the rewards
Such a seismic change in working practices and technological capabilities requires nothing short of a complete rethink in professional development and employee skillsets. This is best achieved by considering AI as a kind of co-pilot, to support and enhance employees’ daily tasks.
In this way, human-AI collaboration will become the norm, creating an unprecedented shift in our entire working approach. Employees will need to be able to operate hand-in-hand with AI, in a complementary relationship that improves overall efficiency and reduces the time spent on manual, repetitive tasks.
That might sound daunting, but the reality suggests otherwise. AI isn’t purely about automating, streamlining and replacing. It should act as a catalyst to enhance our skills and improve our working lives. We will be able to learn more, in less time. We will enjoy greater job satisfaction and have the insight to make better decisions, in the short- and long-term.
Most organisations have long since got started. McKinsey & Company cites that as many as 60% of all businesses have adopted at least one AI technology across their operations, from as early as 2017; while in 2020, PwC confirmed that AI could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030.
The value of AI is everywhere, and far-reaching across the world of work.
AI-powered learning platforms give us the freedom to tailor and customise our own educational experiences according to our roles, aspirations and requirements. This not only makes people feel happier and more fulfilled; it also drives much better employee engagement and retention.
AI-driven analytics provide the data-driven information to inform business decisions that can be made confidently and quickly to keep pace with a changing and competitive market.
AI technologies open the door to closer and more effective collaboration, underpinned by intelligent communication, project management and processes that also reduce human error, risks and bottlenecks in getting things done.
The possibilities are endless, as long as you put the right tools and frameworks in place.
Microsoft: your proactive generative AI partner
Microsoft is on a mission to empower every person and organisation to achieve more using AI tools.
Announced in March, Microsoft’s new suite of Copilot tools spans everything from everyday apps like Word and Excel to more specialised tech like Security Copilot. Microsoft’s Copilot stack is set to impact many of the most-used technologies, aiding users in their daily tasks and revolutionising productivity.
Microsoft 365 Copilot sets out to enable this through greater collaboration on projects and tasks, by sharing thousands of useful skills, all at your beck and call. It embeds answers in everyday business information like documents, emails, calendars, chats, meetings and even excel formulas, then makes them available throughout your working day – during meetings, email exchanges and so on.
This enables you to deliver richer, more relevant and directly actionable responses to questions and requests, every time. It’s nothing short of a revolution in productivity.
But Copilot doesn’t stop there, the suite includes Sales and Power BI, too.
Sales Copilot provides AI assistance embedded in Outlook and Teams and promises to save sales people up to 5 hours per week! Acting as a built-in PA, Sales Copilot provides customer summaries before meetings, AI generated emails and loads more.
Copilot in Power BI infuses the tool with the power of large language models to help users get more value from their data. Just describe what visuals and insights you’re looking for, and copilot will handle the rest.
Meanwhile, Microsoft Fabric operates as a comprehensive, end-to-end platform that brings together all the relevant data and analytics tools for your organisation in one place, so you can leverage and unlock the full potential of your data for AI purposes.
Because Microsoft Fabric is a complete analytics platform in an open and accessible format, it empowers everyone who uses it to achieve more at work through the power of AI, while also reducing operational costs due to its intelligent, unified architecture.