According to new research from 8×8, the cloud-based unified communications vendor, many domestic businesses are turning to AI and automation amid permacrisis — an extended time of instability and insecurity.
Its report, Permacrisis: The View from the IT Frontline, surveyed over 550 IT decision-makers in UK businesses to uncover how permacrisis has impacted organisations, their IT teams, and their approaches.
Across different businesses and industries, respondents agreed that Brexit, COVID-19, and recent inflation events have had the largest impact on organisations and their people in the last few years. Inflation is seen as the major factor leading to extended periods of instability and uncertainty, however, indicated by 64% of respondents.
The vast majority (91%) of IT decision-makers said they’re feeling the effects of permacrisis to some degree, meaningly only 9% of respondents said their colleagues do not appear to be fatigued by ongoing events.
In response to the impacts of permacrisis, organisations are implementing technology changes to reduce crisis fatigue and be future-ready, according to 94% of respondents. However, the level to which companies are making changes is varied. Seventy-three percent said only some or few changes were being implemented, while 21% said extensive changes were being made in their organisation.
Two particular areas that are helping firms through this period, the research found, are artificial intelligence and automation. 78% of respondents said that they’re already seeing the use of AI and automation for increasing efficiency, while nearly the same number (76%) agreed that their organisation is using AI and automation to better serve their customers.
Relatedly, two-thirds stated that macro issues are expediting their digital transformation plans, with figures for delaying changes and no change equally splitting the remaining 35%.
Further, structural changes are also being made to help address the crisis fatigue, with 80% believing their organisation is committed to remote working where possible.
“The UK has experienced a number of crises over the last decade, with no end in sight,” said Chris Angus, vice-president, EMEA contact centre engagement at 8×8, Inc. “As a result of this unprecedented series of ongoing, unexpected events at the societal and global level, businesses are being forced to constantly adapt to significant amounts of change.
“Further, the expectations of customers and employees have also shifted along the way and digital technology has played a fundamental role in enabling organisations to adapt and show resilience.
“As companies now have more data, and demand for real-time insights, the use of AI will go beyond customer engagement, and be deployed to run more efficient businesses and provide better services and offerings.”
“AI is already disrupting certain vertical markets and appears to have reached an accelerated development phase in several areas, including language understanding,” added Patrick Watson, head of research, Cavell Group.
“This presents both a challenge and an opportunity for all businesses with AI infused technology likely to permeate and impact the majority of sectors over the next few years.”