The complexity in our world of work is increasing to the extent that employees are becoming more and more stressed. There are several problems that deserve thorough analysis – and some of them can be resolved with the help of a digital assistant.
B2B software gets the job done, but it is complex
One of the main challenges is the complex usability of certain implemented enterprise software systems: It requires training and adaption to work with large enterprise systems, and usually it isn’t too much fun to work with our daily tools.
But why is that? Firstly, most of these systems are historically grown. The replacement or re-design of such stable software systems is always associated with uncertainties and risks in terms of data persistence and system availability. Fixing minor issues in a historically grown code base sometimes results in severe butterfly-effects. It shouldn’t be a surprise that most executives are not very fond of the idea of replacing established software.
In addition, established software is usually compliance-optimized – which is obviously important to take necessary regulations into account. However, this often results in over engineered workflows, which are perfectly fine for compliance, but are a pain to use for employees. Some of these systems are more of a burden to a person – rather than making work easier, we sometimes make it overly complex.
Fewer software systems won’t solve this…
One possible approach to tackle this issue is to adapt the system landscape by using fewer tools and systems. But fewer tools doesn’t mean, that you all of a sudden have fewer work to do – which will only result in few gigantic systems, that are heavily customized to do everything.
…but a digital assistant can be of help
Another alternative is the use of assistants, who will perform certain jobs within these systems for you and thus reduce your workload. There are, among others, human, virtual and digital assistants. At Neohelden, we use Neo, the digital assistant for business, to counteract the evergrowing “dynaxity” (dynamics in combination with complexity) in our everyday working life.
Roles of a digital assistant at work
Digital assistants can cover various aspects and tasks in order to reduce the complexity of professional software use. The goal is to semi-automate and/or fully automate certain aspects when interacting with multiple software-systems, in order to get rid of the non-value-creating tasks.
Interacting with a digital assistant for business
Users interact with a digital assistant via a so-called “conversational interface“, which allows interactions with an assistant to feel easy and delightful. It further enables a digital assistant to take on a “personality”. These “personalities” and roles of digital assistants can be mapped in a portfolio:
Quadrant A (rational / post-release processing) classifies supportive interfaces. This type of interaction offers semi-automated support at the request of the user. Scenarios include typical question-answer applications, such as FAQs or employee on-boarding using step-by-step instructions.
Quadrant B (rational / autonomous processing) characterizes service interfaces. These execute the tasks automatically. Examples include budget queries, bid solicitation, and providing specific contact information.
In quadrant C (emotional / autonomous processing) we are talking about perceptual interfaces. Perceptual interfaces perform tasks according to automatic needs assessment. Examples of this include the execution of orders based on a demand/trigger/event or the identification of tasks and/or appointments at the start of work.
The quadrant D (emotional / post-approval) cumulates predictive interfaces. By means of predictive interfaces, needs can be anticipated and options are provided. The assistant, however, acts only on command, e.g. after the user explicitly told the assistant to do something. Examples of this are, among others, suggested measures with regard to employee qualification or further training.
As a rule of thumb, digital assistants are not to be classified in just one quadrant, but operate in different quadrants depending on context and user.
Meet Neo, our digital assistant for business
As you can see, digital assistants can offer help and guidance in a variety of scenarios. If you’re looking to reduce complexity at your workplace, feel free to get in touch!