Thinking smart about talent

The latest developments in artificial intelligence are helping to bridge the tech skills gap and make work more enjoyable

ServiceNow is ready to support universities in their mission to very quickly supply AI-ready graduates into the job market and provide them with the skill sets that allow businesses to transform

Everyone today agrees that artificial intelligence (AI) is going to have an impact in the workplace, and while alarmism about potential job losses has grabbed headlines, the most likely outcome is that augmenting human reasoning with AI’s ability to crunch data will help bridge the global IT skills gap.

This is no small thing. Analysts IDC have found that a staggering 90 per cent of global enterprises face a severe IT skills shortage.

Paul Turley, director of enterprise sales at ServiceNow, said that AI could change this in a number of ways.

Firstly, he said, AI can help get new employees up to speed extremely rapidly.

“We’ve done some research, along with Pearson, and it revealed very clearly that AI and humans working together is definitely a way of closing the talent gap. Hiring people and having those people ready to ramp-up and work faster, in, for example, large contact centres or IT teams, is an immediate win,” he said.

Paul Turley, director of enterprise sales at ServiceNow Photo by Fennell Photography

AI’s role, then, can be seen as an expansion of what organisations already do to ensure that things run smoothly.

“Churn is such a big problem for employers, and having process standardisation and process automation helps, but AI is going to accelerate that. It will allow people to get on with their tasks,” said Turley.

Use cases such as contact centres and IT support are likely to be among the first to see the productivity impact.

“The ability to resolve customer queries faster and in a more relevant way, to drive customer satisfaction and allow customers and anyone interacting with you, to self-serve as much as possible, and, crucially, to self-serve in a way that doesn’t drive up frustration is fundamental,” he said.

The end result is that organisations using AI to assist in operations will find it easier to drive high levels of productivity and, as a result, brand stickiness.

In addition, because of ServiceNow’s continued investment in AI, its platform is uniquely able to simplify and optimise digital workflows that have been built-up over years.

Secondly, AI will transform the workplace and drive gains that go far beyond support roles, and ServiceNow is deploying AI inside a unified platform, which helps with automation and using real-time data.

For instance, ServiceNow is now able to support developers by generating code right inside the platform, Turley said. “If you think about a developer, and they have a backlog of tasks, the ability to create code using AI in ServiceNow, which is secure, will mean they deliver much faster – as opposed to having to wait six to nine months to deliver the same amount of functionality,” he said.

ServiceNow is, right here in Ireland, working on double-digit numbers of pilots, helping organisations set up AI centres of excellence to experiment with AI technology.

“The results are aligned with what we’re seeing ourselves: exceptional gains by augmenting people, and making their work lives more enjoyable rather than replacing people,” said Turley.

Intelligent upskilling for AI

However, while AI can augment staff and get them up and running rapidly, using AI is a task that itself requires a new and different skill set.

ServiceNow is helping deliver just that through its RiseUp with ServiceNow learning initiative, which includes partnerships with universities and leading online learning platforms as well as upskilling people from non-technical backgrounds.

“If you’re going to transform your business, you’re going to have to transform the talent within your business. We’ve created RiseUP which aims to train up to a million people across the world, and to attract people from different and more diverse backgrounds but also to develop the talent,” Turley said.

In a first-of-its-kind partnership with Udemy, Now Learning, the training and certifications component of RiseUp, will see power skills delivered to one million people on the Now Platform.

“We’ve launched this partnership with Udemy, the leading online skills platform, and they will complement existing technology, everything from AI itself to design thinking and conflict resolution,” said Turley.

In addition, ServiceNow is ready to support universities in their mission to very quickly supply AI-ready graduates into the job market and provide them with the skill sets that allow businesses to transform.

ServiceNow has also made AI acquisitions in the skills mapping space to allow organisations to figure out who is the best person for a role, something that may not be obvious when perusing a CV, revealing, for instance, that an internal candidate has a hobby or skill that makes them more ideal for a role.

Outside of education, ServiceNow is committed to delivering the benefit of AI and AI-skilled staff through key industry partners.

“Alliances with clients, and in some cases competitors, are crucial for ensuring that AI is advanced in a safe way, while at the same time, ensuring that customers get value rapidly,” he said.

For more information visit servicenow.com