Enterprise collaboration is at a tipping point in the market and in the minds of user communities. More organizations are going to the cloud for collaboration, while users turn away from collaboration platforms because of poor user experience (UX) and subpar search capabilities. The good news is that artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to tip new enterprise collaboration in a positive direction as it takes a more significant role in the platform search functionality and UX.
Here’s how the role of AI will play out in the next generation of enterprise collaboration.
Dialing down Collaboration Overload
As organizations place an ever-increasing focus on adopting new technologies to aid collaboration and engineer a more responsive, real-time business, we are now at a state of communication overload—at least according to Datanami. The rapid proliferation of group chat and enterprise collaboration platforms through both official corporate initiatives and shadow IT are causing information collaboration platform overload. AI can help users search across those platforms, something your business could find useful if your users are relying less on email and more on group chat. Another potential future application of AI in enterprise collaboration is as a way to analyze collaboration platform user logs for actionable intelligence about how your employees are interacting with your data.
Reengaging Users with Legacy Documents
The ideal scenario I see for AI as part of an enterprise collaboration platform is for reengaging users with legacy documents that can help with their work. Consider this example: A software development company has lost faith in the corporate collaboration platform because of poor UX and platform performance. The company’s developers will do anything in their power to work around the collaboration platform. However, there’s still a wealth of corporate and project information in the file libraries. When you hit a point in the life cycle of your enterprise where users are going elsewhere—shadow IT, local hard drive, email inbox—it’s time to inject new technology into the UX. I expect that once AI becomes a standard feature of enterprise collaboration platforms, users (with some prodding, mind you) can and will reengage with legacy documents within their organization after word of search improvements trickles out to more of your disaffected collaboration platform users.
Engaging Sales and BD Teams with Content
In today’s era of content marketing, sales and business development (BD) teams need instant access to content that can help them close deals. AI can act as a recommendation engine for these people and help them access the content they need for a customer call or request for proposal response without having to pester a content manager or technical writer to hunt down and email the necessary documents to them.
Empowering Mobile User Access to Content
Mobile search of cloud enterprise collaboration platforms has a reputation for being slow and taxing on users, especially those using 3G cellular. Collaboration platforms such as Microsoft SharePoint, Box, and Dropbox are doing some awesome things with their mobile apps, but each of these platforms has its fans and detractors.
AI Is the Future of Collaboration
As much as I’m a proponent of enterprise collaboration platforms, even I must say that I’ve been burned by collaboration platforms that were ill maintained. The introduction of AI to enterprise collaboration means that your content can meet users where they are. It takes out the poor UX and the need for human intervention to track down needed documents on deadlines or at 4:30 p.m. on a Friday before a holiday weekend.