DPA technology is evolving from “show me how” to “do it for me.” By 2023, 25% of employee interactions with apps will be via voice, up from less than 3% in 2019, according to Gartner. “We believe that the popularity of connected speakers in the home will increase pressure on businesses to enable similar devices in the workplace,” says Gartner vice president Van Baker. (Important caveat: For this prediction to come true, DPAs will need robust security features that block unauthorized access to sensitive corporate data.)
Enterprise DPAs are getting smarter by the day. As the technology starts to learn the habits of users, DPAs can apply contextual knowledge to perform tasks efficiently. For example, your DPA recognizes that the end of the quarter is approaching so it tags any customer meetings on your schedule as high priority. Because it knows that you never schedule work calls before 7 a.m., your DPA will only book calls after that time.
Here’s a key use case for sales teams, C-level leaders, and other customer-facing employees. Rather than manually collecting information about customer engagements before every customer meeting, you can use simple voice commands to access all related data on that customer via mobile device.
As DPAs become more sophisticated and perform increasingly complex tasks, we will need to answer some tough questions. The first is obvious: Will DPAs replace human workers? The short answer is no, but companies and employees will need to adjust work habits. Throughout history, new technologies have made some tasks obsolete but also created new opportunities.
During the 19th century, industrial technologies displaced many artisans and farmworkers, but also created millions of new jobs in factories and offices. When retail banks started to deploy ATMs at scale in the 1980s, many predicted the demise of bank branches staffed by human tellers. Instead the new tech lowered the cost of opening new branches. It also freed tellers from the routine work of processing deposits and withdrawals, allowing them to focus on more strategic tasks like marketing and customer service. Upshot: The number of bank branches in the U.S. grew by 18% between 2000 and 2017, creating strong demand for tellers.