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FORMER CITI CEO: 30% of banking jobs will be wiped out in 5 years

Business Insider

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Vikram Pandit, former CEO of Citigroup from 2007-2012.
Vikram Pandit, former CEO of Citigroup from 2007-2012. Photo by Alexandre Campbell, courtesy World Economic Forum (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
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Vikram Pandit, former CEO of Citigroup, says 30% of banking jobs could disappear within the next five years.

In an interview on Bloomberg Television, the 60-year-old Indian-American said threats from artificial intelligence and robots will “change the back office.”

“I see a banking world going from large financial institutions to one that’s a little bit more decentralized,” he told Bloomberg’s Haslinda Amin.

Pandit’s prediction is roughly in line with his former employer’s estimates. A report by Citigroup in March of last year estimated the same number — 30% — of job losses, but over a decade as opposed to just five years. The firm is already staffing up a new center to unleash robotics throughout the the bank.

Pandit helmed Citigroup for just under five years, beginning in 2007. Having led the bank through the financial crisis, and resigned in 2012. He has since founded a private equity firm called Orogen Group, where he today serves as CEO.

Many other former and current finance executives have voiced similar concerns about jobs being made redundant thanks to artificial intelligence. Last month, Axel Lehmann, COO of Swiss bank UBS, said AI would “fundamentally change the banking business.”

“I don’t want to get blindsided. It’s less the technology, as such, providing a transformative element in the banking industry,” he said in an interview with Business Insider. “It’s really alternative business models that has the potential to shake up everything and eat into our cake.

This article was originally published on Business Insider. Copyright 2017.

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30 percent of business apps to gain AI enhancements by 2019

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Courtesy Google
Photo courtesy Google
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Almost 30 percent of business apps will be updated to include artificial intelligence (AI) enhancements within the next two years, according to a new article from a CCS Insight analyst.

In addition, nearly 60 percent of enterprises are using or trialling AI technology in their business.

Artificial intelligence is developing at an increasingly rapid rate as it diversifies into more applications and environments. Companies are betting big on AI tech to drive forward digital transformation, improve efficiency and deliver better customer experiences.

According to a study cited by CCS Insight analyst Nicholas McQuire, 58 percent of IT decision makers are using, trialling or researching AI and 29 percent plan to incorporate it into their apps by 2019.

Gradual introduction

The above figures demonstrate strong interest in AI on the part of enterprises.

At the same time, other recent studies have shown that consumers remain sceptical and general adoption of AI is still quite sluggish. Companies are yet to demonstrate to their workforce or customers that AI is capable of enabling its oft-attributed benefits. In addition, they also need to show that the benefits — if obtainable — can offset the risks to human roles that many people perceive.

McQuire, writing on the Google blog, said companies must be prepared to scale-back their AI deployment plans. If adoption is to be successful, the introduction of new tech should be completed gradually. This gives employees time to adapt to the incoming processes and concepts.

As people gain familiarity with the tech, they’re more likely to fully utilise its features and will be less fearful of potential privacy violations. The same approach should be used for consumer-facing technologies. Continuing to implement AI-based systems at breakneck pace could destabilise the machine learning industry, causing resistance amongst users still concerned about privacy considerations.

Change management & employee engagement

Successfully introducing AI technology will require enterprises to proactively manage change and inform their employees.

McQuire warned lingering fears and confusion must be properly addressed, including points that might be raised by customers.

During the transition period, companies should keep traditional alternatives to AI operational, while steering users towards the AI service and highlighting its benefits. Some types of AI service, such as automated support desks, are already benefitting from use of this strategy. The customer is allowed to make an informed choice that leaves them feeling more comfortable. Regular reminders of the benefits could eventually cause them to use and then trust the AI.

“While our surveys reveal employees are generally positive on AI, there is still much fear and confusion surrounding AI as a source of job displacement,” wrote McQuire. “Be mindful of the impact of change management, specifically the importance of good communication, training and, above all, employee engagement throughout the process.”

Companies can also try early adoption of services that use AI subtly, such as next-generation workplace collaboration tools. This helps employees to engage with AI on a regular basis and furthers the business’ transition towards new digital tech. Gradually incorporating AI allows firms to start benefitting from efficiency improvements immediately, while ensuring employees and customers don’t feel alienated or disillusioned.

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Cisco: 75% of IoT projects are failing due to lack of expertise

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Three quarters of Internet of Things device implementations are failing due to a lack of expertise, says Cisco. Businesses are struggling to find IoT talent to put their forward-thinking plans into action.

The comments come from Cisco’s Australian CTO Kevin Bloch in an interview with ZDNet. They echo other recent studies that illustrate a systemic lack of skills in managing IoT devices.

Businesses across all industries recognize the potential benefits of using modern technologies. However, In mthey’re forced to abandon or scale back their plans due to technical troubles, cybersecurity issues or a fundamentally flawed vision.

Siloed data

Bloch said flawed vision for IoT is one of the main problems for implementations. Unable to source advice or find examples of successful IoT networks, companies are launching themselves into the concept without a properly formulated plan. This leads to IoT projects that are “siloed” and oriented towards specific problems.

Companies quickly realize their IoT devices are unable to interoperate, cannot be readily maintained and aren’t achieving the original design goals. The system is left to stagnate and may be switched off. Unless data can stream between IoT stacks, the entire concept is likely to fall apart.

Unfortunately, companies often don’t consider interoperability while planning their cloud strategy.

“The inaugural phase of IoT is characterised by numerous point solutions from a multitude of new – often startup – vendors. Typically, these solutions have been designed to solve a particular societal problem such as lighting or parking,” Bloch explained. “In each case, a complete IT stack needs to be built in support of the solution. Eventually customers find themselves with multiple siloes from multiple vendors that don’t interoperate, are not cybersecure, use different protocols, and generate more complexity at greater cost.”

Finding talent

According to Cisco, businesses need to gain experience in managing and interacting with IoT devices.

What’s needed is dedicated digital team leaders, responsible for designing and implementing a cohesive strategy. However, the cross-industry demand for these individuals is making it difficult for smaller firms to access the talent they need.

Cisco’s now building a new IoT foundation platform to help businesses network their devices. It can surface insights from multiple different device families irrespective of their vendor. The platform also helps to maintain cybersecurity standards to keep the network safeguarded from attack.

Bloch warned enterprises “if you don’t secure it, don’t connect it,” noting that many IoT devices leak data due to poor design.

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Developing insights leads to digital transformation success, says BGIS VP of Strategy

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Photo courtesy GoSpaces
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The most important part of digital transformation for businesses is gathering insights and using them to create more value, according to Lorri Rowlandson, Vice President of Innovation and Strategy and BGIS, a provider of real estate and technology innovation consulting.

Speaking at WORKTECH17 in Toronto in October, Rowlandson says that while a shiny new piece of technology can be useful, the most important part of digital transformation for businesses is gathering insights and using them to create more value.

Success is not some shiny new dashboard — it’s learning how to build and run a better business through insights, she says.

“Success is actually implementing some type of insight that you actually learn from the analytics. A lot of people get technology narcissism, where they care about the dashboard but they don’t actually have the skills to interpret the data and do something different.”

GoSpaces

At WorkTech, Rowlandson presented on gamification within the workplace, and how data derived from new tools that adopt game-like interfaces can be used to improve the employee experience. Gamification is already being used in consumer products such as Waze and FourSquare, but the potential of these tools to engage employees is only just being realized now.

BGIS is working with an app called GoSpaces that intends to gamify employee goals, allowing businesses to educate employees, receive regular feedback and build valuable insights to drive practical innovation.

GoSpaces functions as a “fitbit for the workplace,” says Rowlandson, providing a challenge and award system intended to boost the social, sustainable and financial outcomes of the business.

The GoSpaces app focusses on several key areas of the employee journey within the workplace:

  • Collecting feedback and service requests
  • Providing efficient reservation tools for meeting rooms
  • Tracking and rewarding daily sustainability goals such as biking, reducing paper usage or carpooling
  • Enabling hot-desking and flexible workspaces

All of this data allows businesses to mine key insights that can be used to drive innovative change. The GoSpaces app brings the feedback economy into the regular workcycle, giving businesses a better understanding of the employee journey.

Who deals with DX?

One of the biggest questions for businesses right now is who directs digital transformation, and employee-facing technology is no exception. So who drives initiatives such as GoSpaces that transform the work environment? Rowlandson points to the need for a holistic approach.

She says the importance of making sure that the head of real estate and the head of IT are working “hand in hand” helps to promote innovation.

“With a lot of cloud computing, information security, IT has their own pipeline of activities and then of course corporate real estate comes in from the outside. It gets at risk of being deprioritized.”

Corporate real estate can shape the innovation conversation, and help businesses avoid siloing when it comes to the complex process of digital transformation.

”To make sure that we’re not stalling and stifling innovation with the approval process and then becoming irrelevant,” says Rowlandson, “it’s important that they’re working together closely — closer than ever before.”

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