2018 Predictions: AI Will Drive Personalized Productivity

December 08, 2017 by Keith Johnson

A burst of fireworks over a city at night


Editor’s Note: Over the next few weeks, you’ll hear from several Fuzers, including CEO Colin Doherty and Chairman Steve Kokinos, on the key trends that will not only shape unified communications, but the workplace at large, as we look ahead to 2018. Our first post comes from Chief Technology Officer Keith Johnson, on his predictions for the role of advanced technology in driving productivity in 2018. Find his thoughts, below:


Historically, the consumer technology market has always been a sort of forerunner to the enterprise. In the early 2000s, instant message platforms skyrocketed in popularity. It was only a short while later that they became ingrained as a core necessity in the business world. In today’s environment, this paradigm remains the same. What has changed as a result of rapid digital transformation, however, is the lead time from consumer enthusiasm to enterprise adoption.


One of the lasting trends of 2017 is the consumerization of technology in the workplace. As older generations grow more comfortable, advances in technology flourish, and digital natives flood the workforce, employees expect near-identical enterprise and consumer experiences. In fact, Amazon recently announced an enterprise-friendly version of their popular in-home assistant Alexa, just three roughly years after the consumer launch. Another good example of this is time management and productivity tools. As the line between personal and professional lives continues to blur, individuals crave the intuitive, easy-to-use approach of consumer apps to power their organization and productivity in the business setting.


In 2018, this is only going to accelerate and create lasting consequences on legacy tech infrastructure. Enterprises who are still relying on legacy tools will be replacing them with the most consumer-friendly platforms over time. The tools that enable productivity in the workplace will be enabling productivity at home, and vice versa.


Powered by AI


Once the adoption of this consumer-driven technology reaches critical mass, we’ll see a change in the way the tools are powered. Namely, the integration of AI capabilities to further streamline processes and enable productivity will change. In some cases, businesses are already leveraging AI-enabled bots to automate a number of business tasks, including scheduling. 2018, however, will see the first wide-spread practical uses for the technology, as it offers consumers more personalized ways to enhance their workflow and improve efficiency.  


What’s interesting about this stage of AI’s development is how it will mirror what we already know about enabling productivity in the workplace. Just as today’s unified communications platforms offer a range of tools to cater to the different ways we work as individuals, we’re going to see an explosion of smaller scale AI-powered productivity tools that cater to a specific function of your day – sorting emails, scheduling meetings, and so on. We each have our own individual strengths and weaknesses that AI has the capability to support, and you’ll see employees picking and choosing to meet those needs on a person-by-person basis.


That being said, AI won’t necessarily take the exact route of unified communications in 2018. Where UC offers a single suite, these productivity bots are going to fragmented. Rather than a single assistant which covers all functions, the most successful organizations are going to be leveraging a host of smaller point solutions, giving the employees to choose the right mix for themselves.


How do you think technology is going to fuel personal productivity in 2018? Tweet @Fuze and let us know!



Keith Johnson
Keith Johnson

As Chief Technology Officer, Keith leads innovation and differentiation strategy for Fuze’s product portfolio. He brings to the organization a tremendous amount of product expertise and thought leadership, with over 20 years of related experience. Keith holds a BSE in Civil Engineering and Operations Research from Princeton University.

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