Via secure company-wide intranets that draw on Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI, to intelligent bot-enabled business functions and regulatory processes, ChatGPT and tools like it are going to transform the way entire organizations access, collate and distribute knowledge, and create new assets – and what they do with all of it. As a specialist in data and content management in regulated industries, fme is already on the case with strategic advice, roadmap development, and customer prototypes.
To say that artificial intelligence, and specifically Generative AI, is poised to transform IT delivery as well as a whole host of other corporate functions, is no exaggeration. It is already happening, and it is going to be at least as transformational and disruptive as the World Wide Web or the cloud – which means that corporate executive teams should actively investigate the possibilities sooner rather than later.
At fme, we’re already involved in a client pilot project which will transform that company’s knowledge distribution and access. By first scrutinizing and cleaning up, then migrating content to a secure, cloud-based intranet harnessing Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI, we’re working with the organization (an industrial manufacturer) to make all of its knowledge and content assets securely searchable and collatable – using GPT4 from Open AI as the main engine.
This will have a bearing on the way that new employees find answers to almost any query, while practically eliminating the time knowledge workers spend each day trying to locate the latest information or documents they need on almost any topic (limited only by role-related access rights/privacy settings). If staff need a summary of all the latest regulations they must adhere to for a given task, or need to pull together the latest findings on a particular topic, they can simply ask the question and let the technology do the legwork – presenting the information back to them in a meaningful, context-appropriate way.
Quickly, over time, the returned answers will improve too – because users will have the facility to rate them with a quick thumbs up, or thumbs down, as feedback on the accuracy, relevance and usefulness of the delivered search results/collated content.
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This is a glimpse into next-generation content and data management, and it’s at the forefront of fme’s vision – spanning our business/strategy consulting, and our integration, data cleansing/preparation/enrichment, and content migration services.
It’s all about taking the long-term view. For now, the immediate preoccupations for regulated organizations including Life Sciences companies, industrial manufacturers, and finance institutions might have more to do with reducing dependency on legacy systems; consolidating content following a merger; or becoming more responsive to regulatory changes.
Usually, however, these initiatives are ultimately about being better at information, content, and knowledge management. This has been the focus of my career – and of fme – for the last 25+ years. And in the not-too-distant future, transformed data, content, and knowledge management will involve Generative AI as both the enabler and the intuitive user interface.
Culture change requires long-term Board-level buy-in
Even a year ago, no one could have predicted how rapidly Generative AI would take hold and grow in its application. Accepting and fully embracing the implications is going to require significant culture change for companies, an organizational transformation that can take many, many years to see through – not to mention a considerable amount of blood, sweat and tears. Given that the typical tenure of a CEO is 4-5 years, organizations must now infuse the entire Board with a vision and appetite for Generative AI’s potential across their operations.
Beyond information and content management and analytics, we suggest that the next level of Generative AI application will be in transforming core processes – from HR, sales, creative marketing, and finance management, to IT development, and web site creation (think: “Please generate a web site that does X”). Then, as the technology matures, and trust builds, regulated areas such as Regulatory Information
Management will become a valid area of focus.
If there’s one message I want to get across, it’s that AI – and Generative AI specifically – is here to stay, and it will change the world. Its presence is already prominent, and its potential reach is all-pervasive.
The focus shouldn’t be about developing a separate AI strategy, or even updating the organization’s digital transformation strategy. It should be about weaving Generative AI, and indeed any other aspect of digital transformation, into an organization’s core business strategy – and establishing where the technology could and should be harnessed to help deliver this.
Human factors: everyone will benefit; no one will be unaffected
As to the impact of Generative AI on the role of humans, undoubtedly this will be significant. While human expertise will remain vital in checking, feeding back, refining and improving/embellishing AI’s findings, in time the size of IT/Web development teams, HR functions, finance teams, and so on will inevitably reduce. That’s as more of the groundwork is covered by intelligent technology.
It isn’t just the search and filter intelligence that’s transformative in all of this, after all. It’s the user experience. At fme, we are partnering with a design agency in Berlin for this, recognizing that the way individuals engage and interact with an application or tool is at least as importance as the clever things it can do. And we’re as serious about that whether it’s for our middleware or IT admin tools, or a more advanced stack of content enrichment and management capabilities.
There are all kinds of other trends affecting companies’ use of IT, of course – from continued remote and mobile working enablement, in the wake of Covid; to budget-friendly off- and near-shore resourcing to overcome local talent gaps; to reinforced security and resilience in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and renewed concerns about cyber-attacks bringing down IT services.
Our priority in all of this is to keep looking ahead and anticipating what it is that our clients not only require today, but also what they will ultimately need to do, in 3-5 years; and to keep innovating with optimized strategy consulting and specialist IT services that will deliver those priorities in plenty of time.
To find out more about any of our strategy consulting or IT services, or to discuss the potential of Generative AI in your organization’s knowledge management or core process transformation, contact us. We’d be happy to set up a time with you and our experts to determine how these new technologies can benefit your business.