By Michael Chetner, Head of Australia and New Zealand, Zoom Video Communications
The costs associated with information technology products and services in Australia are expected to reach A$93 billion in 2019, while 28 per cent of spending within key enterprise IT markets globally is expected to shift to the cloud by 2022. Developments in cloud computing and Artificial Intelligence(AI) have changed what's possible in regard to software services which can be provided to organisations. Each year, solutions powered by the cloud and AI are deployed by enterprise businesses to improve the efficiency of business operations and the productivity of employees.
Business communication methods are one area that has and will continue to benefit greatly from improvements in cloud technology and AI. This advance in technology is allowing businesses to seek quicker and more simple communication in an increasingly mobile world. Over the next year, AI will expand the value of communications services, giving enterprise businesses more access to data and further reductions in administration requirements. As more businesses adopt the cloud and AI, these organisations will see greater benefits across different IT projects.
Data has become the lifeblood of business. Whether it's big data, analysing extremely large data sets, or smaller sets of data, technology has allowed IT teams to access and analyse more data to help enterprises with day-to-day operations and business decision making. AI and machine learning will continue to get more intelligent and developers will find more uses that move automation beyond “Hey Siri, call Mum”.
Improvements in AI will allow for greater visual representations of data during virtual meetings. Enter a meeting with a potential new employee or business partner, and AI will bring up their LinkedIn profile, or other information they've decided to make public. Past news about a company could be displayed next to speakers, or documents that are being discussed could be automatically displayed on the screen for all meeting participants to see.
To date, virtual meetings have been a convenient way to conduct a meeting when participants cannot meet in the same room. However, as developments in AI allow more valuable data to be displayed on the screen, participants will find virtual meeting spaces more productive than physical spaces.
Reduce grunt work
Consumers with the latest phones and home assistants know voice and facial recognition have become more effective at recognising commands and identifying individuals. In 2019, AI's place in video communication will be solidified. Imagine identifying speakers combined with machine learning to lip read speakers during video calls. Video communication software can already record and draft transcriptions automatically, identifying who said what. Now imagine it can pull out any key action points to distribute amongst meeting participants. Meeting participants could even be able to schedule a follow-up meeting using AI and have it automatically put in participant's calendars.
By removing some of the basic administrative work requirements from participants during meetings, participants can remain engaged and be able to provide useful insights more often. Further, participants may save time after meetings as AI will have already performed the post-meeting administration tasks. By simply cutting out 30 minutes a week on administration tasks related to meetings, employees could save at least 20 hours a year which could then be spent improving projects or securing new business leads. Ultimately, with AI in meetings, deals will close faster, business productivity will increase, and compliance can be guaranteed by having a complete meeting record. All aspects of the organisation will benefit.
There's power in the cloud
Video communication solutions are just one area benefitting from cloud computing and AI. Each year, the possibilities of cloud computing are being pushed further, generating more computing power for artificial intelligence to be leveraged. AI is advancing at such a fast rate that it is difficult to predict what ways IT teams will use AI in the next 12 months. There's little doubt, that the benefits for enterprise businesses will be enormous. Automation is the solution enterprises have always searched for, and it has finally become a reality with the cloud and AI. 2019 should be the year all enterprises decide to make the move to the cloud.
The future is looking bright for embracing AI and cloud computing. As technology develops, the uses of AI and machine learning will lead to greater improvements in productivity. AI will be able to create visualisations of data, giving virtual meeting participants greater access to relevant information about other participants, or documents that are crucial to the success of meetings. As solutions using AI and machine learning become smarter, they will be able to perform more tasks that reduce the administrative work required by employees, leaving them with more time to add value to their business by performing tasks that require more creative solutions.