How much time does your team waste looking for information?

There’s beena lot of research done to explore how much time and money organizations lose when employees can’t find the information they’re looking for. It’s estimated that employees spend about 20% to 30% of their time searching for information. That’sover 8 hours a week, or a full working day, spent not actually completing projects, but rather sifting through documents and other company knowledge in order to complete them. Too much of that time is spent searching—but not finding—relevant information. The loss of productivity due to siloed information and the need to switch between multiple software applications results in a cumulative corporate loss of $450 billion per year and will only continue to get worse if not addressed.

We’ve all experienced the growing frustration of looking for a resource; wasting time searching through shared folders, emailing colleagues for help, browsing our intranet only to find outdated version. This endemic issue ought to be a core concern for executives because it indicates a detrimental disconnect between people, processes and technology. When information gets trapped in silos of a technology stack it undermines the collaboration these solutions are meant to facilitate in the first place. As a result, information is lost, work gets duplicated, and team members are frustrated. Efficiency goes down and costs go up.

There’s an even more insidious risk: loss of knowledge. Instead of building on existing knowledge and expertise within your organization, when your employees can’t find information they will have to start over and build everything from scratch, and again, only with partial information. There’s a saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know” and in an age where relevance is the most valuable resource, those knowledge gaps can seriously hinder proficiency and innovation within your organization.

Thankfully, recent advancements in AI and machine learning help fuel collaboration by empowering employees to complete, store, share and access relevant information, from wherever it resides, the moment it’s needed. This has the inverse effect: proficiency goes up and costs go down. So, how can you leverage AI and machine learning to drive the success of your digital transformation initiative?

AI-Powered Search and Recommendations

Imagine if collaboration and customer service tools such as JIRA, Zendesk, SharePoint, and Sitecore could communicate with each other, and even plug-in seamlessly with your cloud content management and file-sharing services like Box, Google Drive, and Dropbox. Sounds too good to be true? In fact, an AI-powered search and recommendation engine can do that, and more.

Here’s how an intelligent search solution works: Unifying your company knowledge into a single index allows your employees to intuitively search all content, from across your organization, and find dynamic results that are delivered to match the context and intent of their query. If they don’t find what they’re looking for immediately, variant queries will appear to help them modify the search terms in an effort to help them successfully self-serve. With an AI-powered search and recommendation engine, every interaction informs your next interaction, across platforms, providing a personalized and optimized employee experience.

A relevant and engaging employee experience has a direct impact on your company’s bottom line. Not only do proficient employees get their jobs done better and faster, allowing you to make the most of their time on your watch, engaged and knowledgeable employees significantly improve the customer experience and customer support in particular. When agents are empowered with the best, most relevant information, your customers get the best, most relevant support. This enhanced customer experience translates to higher customer loyalty and greater lifetime value of your customers.

Achieving Measurable Business Results with AI-Powered Collaboration

It’s easy to say that AI can completely transform workplace collaboration and efficiency but don’t take our word for it. Leading organizations have not only implemented AI-powered search and recommendations into their workplace, they’re also already yielding business-critical results.

Xero, a cloud-based accounting software, rapidly grew from 100,000 customers to 1.4 million and needed to bring its team up to speed just as quickly. Finding, sharing and collaborating on relevant information became paramount. Using AI-powered search and recommendations, Xero has created a vibrant knowledge sharing and collaborative culture. Unifying its collective knowledge into a single index, making it accessible to employees and leveraging its internal usage analytics granted visibility into what content their employees found most useful. AI and machine learning has empowered Xero’s agents with the information they need to autonomously solve complex issues without escalation, resulting in greater employee satisfaction, higher engagement, increased agent proficiency and improved customer satisfaction.

What Next?

While cutting-edge AI and machine learning technology can fundamentally change your organization by improving collaboration, reducing knowledge gaps and fueling innovation, at the core of your digital transformation initiatives are your people. When you give your team smart, personalized tools that work for them and help them collaborate, they become empowered and motivated to not only achieve their goals but exceed them, which greatly benefits your customers.

To learn how AI-powered search and recommendations can improve the collaboration and overall proficiency of your organization, enjoy a complimentary copy of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Insight Engines.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Insight Engines July 2018