Originally posted on ZDNet by Vala Afshar

AI-powered virtual assistants and the future of work

A decentralized company that is globally and intelligently connected, one whose employees
can work from anywhere, whose customers and partners can succeed from anywhere, and
whose definition of success includes all its stakeholders, is a boundless company. A
boundless company has a new operating system that includes a shift in mindset and greater
adoption of emerging technologies.
The future of work has us moving away from a physical office and tethered workflow where
you are chained to your desktop, laptop, or mobile device and advancing to a much more
interactive experience through every digital channel — smart speaker, webchat, messaging,
SMS, and email. Many enterprise’s end-customers are digital natives, as we see younger
buyers who grew up in a digital omnichannel world.
This year marks an inflection point where digital natives move beyond the omnichannel
experience and now are expected to be serviced by a growing number of digital concierges —
virtual assistants that provide a new level of personalization in an all-digital world. Gartner
predicts that both the consumer and businesses will be spending $3.5 billion by the end of
this year, 2021, on what it refers to as Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs).
Consumers have been provided virtual assistant innovation with products like the Amazon
Echo, Apple HomePod, and Google Home. And these same conversational technologies have
been well adopted in the workplace for efficiency and streamlined workflow that can both
reduce costs and accelerate revenue.
Gartner predicts that, by 2025, 50% of knowledge workers will use a virtual assistant on a
daily basis, up from 2% in 2019. By 2023, Gartner predicts that 25% of employee interactions
will be voice-based communications.

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