The pace in which the world is changing seems to be getting faster and faster as every day goes by. This is especially true in the business world. With Globalisation bringing us all closer together we are seeing the creation of highly productive, geographically dispersed teams across the World. The ability to “work from anywhere” is significantly altering how we conduct business. At Beepo, we’re also starting to see the accelerating development of AI and robots.
What does remote working, globalisation and AI mean for SMEs?
Remote working, Globalisation and AI are all technology driven phenomena. For example, remote working would not be possible without the Internet, Cloud-based applications, and powerful laptops. The same is true for Globalisation... and AI is, by its very nature, the fruit of technological development.
1. Reduced costs
Development in all three of these areas is constantly advancing at an accelerating pace. We do know from Moore’s Law that as technology advances, its cost reduces. As a side note, Moore’s Law is named after Intel co-founder, Gordon Moore. In 1965, Moore observed that the number of transistors on a silicon microchip doubled roughly every two years; whilst at the same time the cost of the microchip reduced by about 30% in the same time frame.
When my 9 year old, 50 inch Samsung TV was finally laid to rest a few weeks ago, I witnessed Moore’s Law in action - I replaced it with a brand new LG 75 inch Smart TV for the same cost of the old Samsung. Significantly better technology for a significantly lower cost; and the single most important variable was the 9 year time frame.
2. Increased accessibility
As technology improves and its cost reduces it becomes more accessible to small and medium businesses. Reduced operating costs means more opportunity to grow and scale your business across geographically dispersed markets, new industry verticals and innovative product and service offerings.
3. A global recruitment strategy
From a technology point of view, Globalisation is a result of improved network engineering, improvements in portable devices, and the advent of Cloud computing; and, it provides businesses the opportunity to resource with the World’s best talent. Why narrow your recruitment search to your local area, when the question ‘do they live close enough to the office’ is now redundant? You can now truly optimise your resourcing by having the right person, in the right job, doing the right tasks at the right price. If that doesn’t sound revolutionary enough think about how Robots and Automation fit in with globalisation to create a powerful symbiosis.
4. Increased automation
The purpose of AI and robots is automation. Basically (it’s a little more complex than this, but this’ll give you the idea), you give a robot a simple and repeatable process, teach it how to do it and then let it go and do it. As AI technology improves then presumably the sorts of processes robots can do will become more complex.
Will robots ever make humans redundant? That’s a question currently being debated by philosophers, academics, and technologists. But what we do know right now is robots can be taught to complete simple and repetitive tasks like:
- Answering high level questions in website online chat
- Analysing large databases (e.g. Your CRM) and matching data
- Prioritising emails in your inbox
- Having simple phone conversations
Don’t worry - humans are not quite redundant yet
The downside to AI for now and for the foreseeable future (beyond 10 years or so is hard to forecast) is the need for human intervention at some stage of the process. Intervention is normally required in one of two circumstances:
- The robot can do a certain part of the process, but often they get to a point where they simply do not have the ability to take it further e.g. They trawl through your CRM, matching your prospects to external databases to identify which prospects need a sales call right now. Obviously, they can’t make a complex sales call so a human needs to take over
- Robots are often taught to deal with certain scenarios and data sets. If they encounter something that falls outside of what they have ‘learnt’ then often they cannot progress and a human needs to take over to complete the process.
With this in mind, the combination of Global talent and Robots can be a powerful tool to help your business reduce costs, service customers better, and increase capacity and capability.
Are you ready to take advantage of this technology to grow your business?
If you want to learn more about how to introduce your business to the 21st Century then why not read our 5 Part Education series and learn how to integrate remote workers and your local team to create a supercharged team that will immediately enhance efficiency and productivity.